The fifth new generation of mobile communications was highlighted in the most recent MeetOn promoted by APDSI: from the advances that technology provides in terms of data transmission speed and network response and the capacity for simultaneous connection of devices, but also the possible impacts of its implementation on the environment and the health of the population.
It is true that 5G brings with it a whole set of promises regarding innovation, but Jos Pedro Nascimento, Director of Engineering and Operations at Altice Portugal, indicated that there are still many limitations, whether technological or financial.
The implementation does not give immediate access to the benefits of 5G and the official stressed that it will not be possible within three years that all of its promises will be fulfilled. It is only at a much later stage, already of massification, that we will begin to reap the benefits in multiple areas, including cases of vertical use, such as in medicine or in industry.
What do 5G's potential for users translate into? According to Lus Correia, professor at INESC-ID (Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Research and Development) and at the Instituto Superior Tcnico (IST), technology can make a difference when it comes to application in virtual and augmented reality, and can bring a new dimension to communications.
In addition to innovative applications in the IoT ecosystem, the technology can change the way we use equipment such as smartphones, computers, tablets and smartwatches together, allowing for better connections with each other.
The applications in the area of health and well-being of the population are diverse and Ricardo Mexia, president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, exemplified the uses in the field of telemedicine, but also in the use of technology in cases of pre-hospital emergencies, improving response times and communication with more remote areas.
In a pandemic context like the one we are currently experiencing, 5G can help determine patterns of disease spread. For example, STAYCOVID, the Portuguese contact tracking application, is supported on Bluetooth, but a technology like 5G could multiply the possibility of identifying transmission networks and helping healthcare professionals to improve their responsiveness.