Tuesday, 19 November 2019 15:12

Australia leading the way with 5G

By Simon Lockington

SPONSORED Guest Opinion by Simon Lockington, Director of Global Solutions Enablement, Equinix Asia-Pacific

With 5G rolling out across the country, industry watchers predict 4G LTE subscribers will naturally make the move to 5G’s faster network. According to the Mobile Economy report from GSMA, our region will pioneer the move to 5G and is projected to be the world’s largest market for the technology, reaching over 675 million connections by 2025. With the US and other countries also making their way towards 5G, why are we expected to be leading the race?

Millennials are at home with digital

Australia has a larger proportion of younger people compared to US and Europe Those born since the Internet era are at home with digital devices and more tech savvy. This group has greater demand for digital applications and services, such as social media, gaming, and online video consumption, and expects to interact with technology in the same way in their workplaces as they do in their personal lives. They are both users and creators of digital applications that require more processing power, such as voice recognition, and apply them to a diverse range of fields. These applications need the network and bandwidth capabilities of 5G if they are to deliver on the expectations of these younger generations.

Savvy mobile users demand high speeds

According to GSMA, the number of unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2025 globally, the equivalent to 71% of the world's population. The up-take of 5G subscriptions in Australia will build on the current base of 4G LTE and digitally savvy mobile users who want speed, reliability and minimal latency to use their everyday applications. These are often data-heavy content sites likes Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, which users expect to be delivered at constant high-speeds regardless of location.

IoT needs infrastructure

Australia’s IoT at home market is forecast to reach AU$5.3 billion by 2023. Our increasing uptake of IoT will require strong telecommunication network infrastructure to support the thousands of IoT devices in use. As we move towards smart city models, using IoT to manage safety, security, roads and traffic control, and utilities, we will need a fast and robust network to manage the resulting complex data flows, and network operators hope 5G is the resolution.

Investing in 5G

Many local businesses have already started investing in 5G projects as they rush to be at the forefront of what the technology has to offer. In fact, mobile operators across the entire Asia-Pacific region are planning to invest over AU$270 billion over the next few years to expand their 4G networks and launch new 5G networks to accelerate the growth of their digital economies and societies.

Realising the benefits of 5G

5G devices and infrastructure have the potential to change key markets in Australia.

Healthcare – Currently, healthcare providers rely on 4G to access digital patients’ records such as X-rays. With 5G, healthcare providers can remotely monitor patients and gather data in real-time by using IoT devices to help them allocate the right resources more efficiently and improve personalised care. With artificial intelligence and big data, patient data can provide valuable insights to help make the right diagnoses and lifesaving decisions in real-time, even performing remote surgeries and medical procedures with ultra-low latency.

Content and Digital Media (CDM) – According to Intel, the global media industry stands to gain AU$1 trillion in cumulative revenues from new services and applications enabled by 5G. With 4G LTE, mobile broadband users and consumers are already enjoying fast movie downloads or streamed content without a high level of latency. 5G will offer faster, more stable connectivity with more bandwidth, enabling content service providers to offer superior experiences when watching high- quality videos. 5G will also enable innovative applications, such as virtual and augmented reality, to be created to deliver more personalised customer experiences.

Achieving seamless 5G connectivity

5G is coming but in order to get the maximum business value from this highly anticipated technology, interconnection is key. To support 5G demand, a vendor-neutral colocation and interconnection platform will enable enterprises deploying 5G to seamlessly access robust network and cloud ecosystems. Enterprises can directly and securely interconnect with network and cloud service providers via Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ so they can balance improving network and application performance with real-time, low-latency connections with cost efficiency.

To achieve seamless 5G connectivity for real-time data transmission regardless of location, a reliable, accessible connection of network nodes is mission-critical to support an ever-growing volume of data and traffic generated from multiple locations. At Equinix, network service providers (NSPs) can deploy their network nodes closer to users and service providers. This results in faster rate of data delivery, enhancing network performance, improving customer experience and ultimately can transform a business.

5G, combined with interconnection, will bring disruptive transformation to different industries around the world. With 5G taking off in Australia right now, enterprises need to ensure they are at the forefront and ready to enable our digital-savvy population to use 5G and keep leading the race.

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