GSMA Intelligence forecasts that the number of 5G connections globally will reach 1.3 billion by 2025, covering 40 percent of the world’s population or approximately 2.7 billion people, according to the new report Intelligent Connectivity: How the Combination of 5G, AI and IoT Is Set to Change the Americas. At that time, the Americas region is expected to account for over 260 million 5G connections or 20 percent of the global market.
“Intelligent connectivity will have a significant and positive impact on individuals, industry and society, marking the beginning of a new era defined by highly contextualized and personalized experiences,” commented Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “Augmented and virtual reality will change the way we watch live sports and music concerts, drones will deliver packages to our homes, while virtual personal assistants will manage our lives for us. New 5G networks, AI and the upscaling of the Internet of Things will change the world, intelligently connecting everyone and everything to a better future.”
The new report highlights how intelligent connectivity will impact the future of transportation, enabling safer and smoother travel. It outlines how 5G networks and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will communicate the location of vehicles, bicycles and people in real time, reducing the chance of accidents or collisions.
Data on the weather, surface conditions, road works or congestion can be relayed in real time from a cyclist’s helmet and, when combined with AI, could help road users plot better routes.
5G enabled systems will also enhance driving by monitoring the behavior of adjacent vehicles and responding accordingly, such as applying the brakes, as well as automatically calling for assistance in the event of accidents.
5G will also usher in an era of reliable self-driving vehicles, such as autonomous trucks that travel in convoys or platoons and taxis to take you safely home.
“IoT is helping to pave the way towards 5G, with deployments of Low-Power Wide-Area networks on the road to massive IoT. Advances with 5G critical communications and enhanced mobile broadband will bring increasing opportunity in the IoT, including connected cars, smart homes and cities, connected health and more. Intelligent connectivity technology will transform the way we live and work every day,” says Susan A. Johnson, EVP, Global Connections & Supply Chain, AT&T.
The report also highlights how 5G networks will enable UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones to provide fast, low-cost, secure delivery straight to customers’ homes. The network will help to coordinate large fleets so that they fly safely, automatically avoiding collisions with buildings and other drones as well as provide secure connections, authentication and smart autonomous navigation with high-definition video backup and recovery location in case of emergencies.
Mobile operators across the Americas are already making great strides in the rollout and delivery of 5G networks. The US is set to be one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G commercial services. with all four US national mobile operators having announced their first deployment plans. Mobile 5G services are expected to launch later this year by AT&T and Verizon, with AT&T targeting twelve markets and Verizon four. Sprint plans to launch its mobile 5G service in the first half of 2019, with nine markets announced already.