'Preparation for 5G needs to begin today' - expert

2016-09-06 12:02 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Thomas Magadanz of the Fraunhofer Institute discussing 5G.

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George - By 2020 the world is likely to be connected by 5G technology, but it is a change that needs to start today. 

This is according to Professor Thomas Magadanz of the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany who was addressing the Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (Satnac) in George on Tuesday. 

“5G is a consequence of evolution and an evolution of different domains,” Magadanz said.

He added that 5G was an integration of all existing network technologies as part of their IP (internet protocol) basis. 

“5G is fixed mobile convergence architecture,” Magadanz said.

Industry role players have gathered at the three-day conference to discuss the “Broadband Evolution: Unlocking the Internet of Things(IoT)”.

Part of the discussion at the conference revolved around 5G connectivity, set to be the next phase in telecommunications mobile internet connectivity. 

At present, numerous local network providers are currently testing and preparing to roll out a 4.5G network. 

5G internet connections are expected to see users’ internet speeds increases many times over 4G, which industry players have said will open up new opportunities for IoT. 

“We need to start understanding 5G as an agile software-defined, network infrastructure for IoT applications and that is why it is important to start looking at how we are going to use it now,” Magadanz said. 

“We could see super multimedia services, augmented reality, virtual reality and the automotive industry used on 5G. But we will see massive IoT applications with 5G,” he added.

Magadanz also said that the future of the internet and how 5G is used is dependent on the contribution from the youth into software around the technology.

“We need to enable young talents and give them early access to real technology to create the future. Students have already begun playing around with the internet of things,” he added.