On our visit to Barcelona Mobile World Congress 2019, we spent time in the hall of our friends at Ericsson. It was clear that 5G will be rolled out starting now and of course, this was also the main theme for the show. 

Mobile World Congress is no longer just a conference for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. The developments and innovations being presented there will be paramount for the digital transformation taking place in other industries. Now, 5G is on our doorstep with first commercial deployments scheduled for April 2019 and is seen to be one of the most transformative technologies we have seen in a long time.

Besides being an evolution from 4G, 5G is a platform for innovation with a service layer that will have AI, edge computing, and high-performance IoT capabilities powered by 5G, enabling new things to happen for consumers and enterprises.

Here are a few examples of 5G and IoT applications that were demonstrated at Ericsson's hall.

Remote truck driving over 5G

Imagine driving a truck that's more than 1,500 miles away. 5G makes it possible since it will enable speed, precision control and scale. While sitting in a conference hall in Barcelona, surrounded by monitors, I successfully drove a truck through a parking lot in Gothenburg, Sweden. Network operators Ericsson and Telia, alongside Swedish transport company Einride, have partnered to develop eco-friendly and sustainable self-driving trucks powered by 5G at a DB Schenker facility. The self-driving-trucks can be driven manually or fully autonomous. This development will influence mobility and urban living.

It is expected to increase safety, maximise comfort and stimulate business opportunities for a range of mobility services in the coming years.

Einride estimates the CO2 reduction potential per pallet of freight when transitioning from diesel to electricity to be 90%. It will also reduce emissions of harmful and ultrafine particles.

Watch this video to get more insights into how it works:

Video: Driving and autonomous truck over 5G

Communicate on smart mirrors

Another interesting demo, which I was allowed to try was Ericsson's multi-device demo. An increasing number of people are using different devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets and smart speakers that are connected to each other. It is also common that when a call comes in, you can answer that call from any device. But that a smart mirror can answer a call, I wouldn't have thought until I saw this demo.

Imagine taking calls via a smart mirror while getting ready for work–suddenly your mirror turns into a phone. Now that's what I call multitasking.

In addition, the user can transfer the call from one device to another without interruption. For example, you are on your way home and making calls. When you get home, you can send this call to another device without disconnecting the other person. Many operators now start to roll-out 5G-based wireless fibre (FWA), and since about half of the world’s households are yet to have a fixed broadband connection, this will be a huge opportunity.

Fixed Wireless AccessFixed Wireless Access

Network Evolution to 5G

The entry point for the network evolution to 5G showed scenarios and new use cases for the urban jungle, urban extended, geographical reach, industry and stadium. A combination of personal and business applications such as mixed reality holograms, high-end devices, millions of IoT, immersive video experiences will push the mobile networks to the limit. In this interactive table called the city playfield, you could understand how to switch on 5G on the network by using powerful software functions and innovative radio solutions. It was very engaging and fun to see how the network stepped in performance as new features were introduced. A network fully evolved with 4G and 5G will deliver mobile data 10 times more cost effective than it does today.

Check out this demo as Natalie Modesto demonstrated what's possible: 

Video: Network Evolution to 5G 

Remotely controlled smart vessel

A great example of how increased connectivity and IoT can help make our world a better place was shown in the demo of a joint development by Ericsson, China Mobile and OceanAlpha. Visitors were given the opportunity to remotely control a ship, speedboat or another vessel operating in Barcelona harbour over a 4G network at a console deck. The vessel operates autonomously. GPS routers allow collecting the water quality data, identifying the cause of the pollutant with HD cameras and taking necessary measures to address these pollutants, which were shown live on big screens at the console deck. The smart vessel can be remotely steered to the desired location in a pollution or accident area for close monitoring and takes necessary actions to overcome pollutants.

Watch this video to get a quick look at it:

 Video: Remotely-controlled smart vessel

Do you want to take a tour on your own? Check out this Video.

If you want to learn more about IoT, read our article about what is Internet of Things and why is it important?

Speak to us at Zooma if you want to find out more about how to best present innovations and introduce products and solutions to your customers, whether it be on an event, offline or online.

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Ingrid Wallgren

Business Strategist
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