At CES 2019, 5G dominated conversation. Developments in 5G have quickly been gaining momentum, and at this year’s CES Las Vegas event we discovered just how close this innovative new technology is to launching.
World’s First 5G Phone Call
Mobile network Sprint (who merged with T-Mobile back in June 2018) announced it had successfully completed the world’s first 5G data call in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm on location at CES 2019.
Sprint took advantage of Nokia’s Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output technology (Massive MIMO) and dual-mode AirScale Massive MIMO radio to complete the test, using a smartphone powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules.
Together, the team were able to complete Skype video and audio calls, stream from YouTube and send and receive instant messages using 5G. Sprint is now preparing for their commercial launch that commences in the first half of this year.
Samsung's 5G Smartphone
Samsung quietly debuted its prototype 5G smartphone inside a secure glass box at CES 2019. The phone (which remains unnamed and is simply the"5G Prototype Smartphone") will be launching this year, with Sprint confirming it will carry the device in the US.
The phone was in line with current Samsung aesthetics with the volume and Bixby buttons appearing to be on the left and lock and power button on the right, alongside a visible front camera. Samsung is also set to unveil its new Galaxy range on 20 February 2019.
Verizon takes the stage with Disney
Verizon promised that 5G will revolutionise every part of the economy and led the stage at CES with partners such as Disney, Medivis and its own drone operation company Skyward.
Each company spoke around how 5G will impact business. Notably, Verizon and Disney announced they plan to utilise 5G in Disney’s StudioLab and incorporate the technology into all aspect work – from production and transmission to consumer interface. Though the companies didn’t divulge how exactly this will work, they assured that this development in connectivity will create huge impacts in their operations – and in most other industries too.
AT&T Plans to Implement 5G in Hospitals
American network provider AT&T explained plans to team up with Rush System for Health and Rush University Medical Centre to provide a 5G connection to its hospitals.
AT&T will provide both a 5G connection and MEC (multi-access edge computing), which will allow hospitals to operate a cloud-based IT service. A spokesperson at Rush System for Health and Rush University Medical Centre explained that this technology will enable staff to provide patients and service users a more streamlined level of care with this instant access. We're hoping something similar is in the works for the UK too.
Plans for Los Angeles and Las Vegas to use 5G within 'Smart Cities' are due to be rolled out in the near future. It was announced that Las Vegas will collaborate with American network provider AT&T and Ubicquia to trial a smart lighting solution. This trial aims to make public lighting more efficient, whilst also improving public safety.
The trial will use streetlights around Las Vegas that are already fitted with Ubicquia’s Ubicell streetlight routers. The trial will run for six months in parts of Las Vegas, and if successful AT&T will then integrate its LTE and LTE-M networks with Ubicquia's smart lighting platform.
As well as this, an earthquake warning app known as ShakeAlertLA was launched by AT&T in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles. The aim is to improve public safety by giving residents more time to seek cover before the event occurs, sending an alert to Android devices and iPhones whenever an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater is about to occur in the state.
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