The mobile industry’s largest exhibition opens today in Barcelona, with an agenda featuring the emergence of fifth-generation (5G) network technology anticipated for later in 2018.
5G promises mobile internet speeds up to 100-times faster than the current fourth-generation network. 5G will be key to the expansion of the so-called internet of things (IoT), which connects all internet-enabled technology, increasingly including everyday devices such as cars and household appliances. Estimates suggest at least 26 billion devices will be connected by 2020.
A new wave of the tech revolution is possible with 5G and the IoT. South Korea scratched the surface when it rolled out hundreds of synchronised drones during the PyeongChang opening ceremony.
Despite the advantages of a fast, integrated internet network, some fear the concentration of such a wide array of user data. The IoT is growing exponentially, already making it difficult for security to keep up with 4G networks.
Pundits suggest using the decentralised, cryptographic blockchain system to protect data in the IoT: expect this to be a major talking point in Barcelona. The incorporation of blockchain would totally change the internet’s structure, completely decentralising networks and mobile service markets.
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Josh analyses the economic impacts of geopolitical developments in emerging economies. He contributes regularly to The Daily Brief.