5G: Towards the end of the smartphone era?

5G will allow a 1000-fold increase in debit  compared to 4G. The main advantage is the reduction of latency, the reaction time after a click on your smartphone, tablet or connected computer. The 5G will have a latency time of 1 ms, which is 20 to 30 times faster than the 4G. How can we explain that 5G could prefigure the end of the smartphone, wich is now considered as the key to belong to the digital society?

While 5G could herald a post-smartphone era. That doesn’t mean that our smartphones will disappear completely: they will remain our first point of contact with an increasingly digital society. We may no longer be as dependent on owning one individually or even carrying one around with us all the time. 2G made it possible to make calls, 3G made it possible to send SMS, 4G made it possible to send Internet content, bringing us into the world of mobile Internet. 5G introduces us to the world of intelligent connectivity, sensors, artificial intelligence and a new generation of robots.

Initially, smartphones were used as enterprise devices for business users. They exist since 1993. They reached the general public when Apple introduced them to the consumer market.

Today’s smartphones are equipped with large touch screens, cameras and high-tech features such as 3D facial recognition. While back then, phones were mainly used to make calls, today we use them primarily for browsing the web, listening to music and podcasts, playing games and watching chat or sports videos.

But smartphones have had an impact on almost every aspect of human life such as business, education, health and social life. The smart phone has become a pocket PC: a true multifunctional mobile device!

As a result, smartphones offer countless applications to users. They facilitate communication and offer many advantages to the citizen both for his daily work as for his leisure time by using applications to book for example his train, his plane, his restaurant, his cinema. In addition, a plethora of applications are also available for monitoring exercise, diet and blood pressure, which plays a key role in the health sector. Smartphones also play an important role for people with special health needs, the elderly and people with disabilities. More and more we are using our smartphone to digitally connect with public services, hospitals and companies.

Smartphone connectivity has created new businesses through the development of, for example, the mobile applications sector, mobile internet service providers and other related sectors.

5G will have an impact equivalent to the introduction of electricity or the car, affecting whole sections of the economy. The first industrial revolution brought the steam engine, cotton spinning and the railway. The second brought mass production with assembly lines and electrification. The third brought computer servers, personal computers and… the internet.

With the 5G, the 4th industrial revolution is underway, promising to change the way human beings live at a speed, scale and strength that is still unequalled.

5G will bring radical innovations that impact entire systems that will become a new reality in just a few years, in parallel and sometimes together with nanotechnology, 3D printing, mobile networks, artificial intelligence (AI), natural language programming (NLP), robotics, sensors, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The 4th industrial revolution promises to make possible what was previously unimaginable.

Both for the development of smart, connected cities and for preparing the jobs of the future, it is smart connectivity, made possible by 5G, that will be the catalyst for the socio-economic growth of the fourth industrial revolution. Job creation goes hand in hand. Many of the solutions for the Smart City of the future are only possible with 5G, already for mobility and environmental management, as well as for health and public services. This goes hand in hand with new opportunities in a large number of sectors and new business models that will create the new jobs.

In this context a smartphone is no longer a phone. Telephony is reduced to the use of an application on the smartphone. The smartphone becomes the key to a digital society centered around intelligent mobile connectivity of people, objects and services. In such a society, the device itself may be radically transformed as all information is in the cloud, individuals will actually only need to connect to the mobile network through any available device to access it…

The 4th industrial Revolution is starting now!


Ivan Vandermeersch