5G’s Impact on Global GDP over US$7.5trillion

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Excerpt: Several Huawei partners highlighted the different industries that are getting great benefits out of 5G.

Huawei recently held its 5G+, Better World Summit, where various operators and industry partners shared their experiences of how 5G applications can drive significant business and industry efficiency.

“5G development has entered a new phase,” said Huawei Carrier CMO, Bob Cai.

“With over 80 5G networks commercially available worldwide, determining how to leverage 5G to create more value is currently a topic of great interest within the industry. Currently, 5G for business is still more of a branding concept, and more solid work needs to be done. To build a positive business cycle, work should be done in four aspects: technology, ecosystem, standards, and business model.”

5G will drive future business

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director of ABI research, highlighted that new ‘G’ technologies have historically offered major benefits to consumers. 5G, however, is likely to be most beneficial to the commercial sector.

By 2030, Mavrakis predicted, 5G’s impact on the global GDP will be over US$7.5trillion – compared to the US$5.1trillion 4G contributed in 2019. “We expect that 5G will transform businesses in the same way 4G transformed consumers,” said Mavrakis.

However, he cautioned that it could take several years for the manufacturing world to adopt the technology.

Mavrakis also implored governments to provide opportunities for 5G to flourish within their countries, and highlighted ways that this is already being done – such as in the provisioning of free 5G spectrum and reduction in taxation of carriers.

Several Huawei partners also highlighted the different industries that are already getting great benefits out of 5G.

Ports of trade

Xu Mengqiang, General Manager of China Mobile Ningbo, highlighted that several 5G implementations have resulted in substantial benefits to a Ningbo port. These include 5G-powered self-driving container trucks, remote-controlled cranes, and backhaul HD video streaming – which shows key cranes in real time.

The Ningbo port envisions that efficiency will be increased by over 260%, while labour costs will be cut by over 70% as a result of new 5G-powered technologies.

Agriculture

Dr. Thomas Anken is head of the Digital Production Federal Department of Economic Affairs Education and Research in Switzerland. Anken highlighted that 5G is enabling a variety of smart farming methods which have a significant impact on yields of farms in the country.

Examples include:

  • Multispectral imaging of wheat fields by drones resulting in a 10% decrease of fertiliser usage.
  • Tractors with an automated hoe that recognise plants and eliminates the weeds around them.
  • The swift delivery of important intelligence to the cloud, which ensures that automated robots receive data to update their machine learning capabilities; while farmers also receive insights into how they can optimise their processes.

Smart factories

Guo Lihong, Deputy Director of the Engineering Equipment Department-Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron and Steel, explained that 5G is expected to increase the factory’s efficiency by 30% while reducing costs by the same margin.

5G is used with remote-controlled cranes and slag-adding arms to streamline the factory’s processes, and these cranes have improved production efficiency by 33%. The ability for production line surveyors to watch real-time production through HD video has also optimised those workers’ jobs. In total, the factory plans to build 100 5G macro sites as well as three management centres to continue reaping the benefits of 5G.

Hospitals

Hospitals in the Henan province have implemented a variety of impressive 5G-powered functionalities to improve their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These systems were installed within 82 hours, and involved the building of remote systems for 147 hospitals in 18 cities within the province.

Features that were available to these hospitals included:

  • Remote surgery guidance.
  • Robots through which doctors can talk to patients.
  • Systems in ambulances which support first response teams – in an ambulance moving at 80km/h, backhaul speed is 50MB/s.

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