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What you'll do differently with 5G

Story by
Maha Elkheir

Maha Elkheir

The connection speed, fast-response times and increased network density that 5G brings will soon enable users to enjoy their smart homes and workplaces, and leisure lives, to the full.

I used to struggle to get up in the morning. There always seemed to be many tedious tasks to get through before I set off for work. Then the evenings – well, there was simply no time to do anything – I seemed to have so many annoying errands to go on and jobs to do that I wished someone or something else would take on. Now it’s 2025 and life is better and I would put that down quite simply to technology. 

I think we could say we crossed the Rubicon at the end of the last decade when 5G – the last generation of wireless communications – came into being. Suddenly, network connections were 100 times faster, download and response times came down to seconds and milliseconds, and small cells began to shoot up everywhere, helping the many of us who live in densely populated cities and towns to share connectivity in a harmonious and non-disruptive way. Let me take you through my typical weekday and how technological progress has made life so great.

Good morning home appliances

I speak a lot more in my home these days. That is not just down to better relationships with my wife and kids (we seem to have more time together now than we used to), but because I can control the environment with my voice, through my personal assistant, who I call Jack.

The speed of 5G means our house can cope with many more connections all at once, and it makes smart devices so much easier to set up. Before 5G really came into its own, the home network was always overloaded with different users and devices. It was a bottleneck for receiving quality services. Now I feel we can do anything at home, saving precious time and allowing us to fit more activities into that first hour or two of the day. 

‘Morning Jack. ‘Morning Sir. Yellow light on in the bedroom, please. Thank you. Full light in the exercise room. Switch on rowing machine. Prepare my Virtual Reality (VR) glasses. River scene.

And there I am, first thing in the morning, rowing down the River Thames for half an hour. What a difference VR has made. I feel so motivated now when I exercise before breakfast, whether it is “rowing down a river” or “cycling on a canal path” or “skiing in the mountains”. I even get the morning news (and ads) fed to the glasses while I’m exercising.

And while still exercising, I ask Jack to make the coffee and toast. Jack never burns anything!  But first a shower. Jack makes sure the water is warm, always at the same, invariable temperature, unless it’s summer and I choose colder water.

Screen on in the kitchen. More news fed to me from a variety of sources. I pan the home security cameras and check everything is all right, open the window in the bathroom, switch on the garden sprinklers. I’m reminded that I must call the boiler maintenance man at 08.15; I need to reset my heating and I can’t find the right setting on this new device he installed last week. He’s going to guide me through it via video, so he doesn’t need to displace to the house.

Off to work

By now the rest of the family are downstairs getting breakfast, but I have to drive to work. Jack closes all the windows in the house, opens the garage. I tell the family not to forget to set the vacuum cleaner and floor mopper before they leave.  

I open the car boot from my smartphone and put my bag in the back. It recognizes my voice (I call the car Trevor after a late uncle) and backs us out of the garage onto the road, switching my favorite radio station on. 5G has been a vital factor in the widespread adoption of the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and has also sparked fast growth in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) applications and remote, autonomous and assisted driving.

Work, please, Trevor. He helps me in my journey to the office, choosing a traffic-free route and persuading lights to turn green when it’s safe to cross junctions. He parks us in our allotted car space and locks up when I’m climbing the steps to the company’s reception. 

Work is much more enjoyable these days thanks to smart office applications. The things I particularly appreciate are the super sharp, instantaneous video conferencing (32K resolution) ) allowing us to meet with our people all over the world to assess current sales targets. Then there’s the rapid AI-based search engines we have these days, constantly suggesting data to me as I work on my latest research paper. 

I am also out and about a lot with Trevor on field work during the afternoons. 5G has given us better navigation assistance, object recognition and even real-time face recognition on smartphones and smart glasses. Meanwhile, all of our company’s assets are connected from the equipment on our farms to robots in our warehouses. Using real-time centralized cloud means our field devices can be smaller and lighter these days,. All the files, data and artificial intelligence are in the cloud and only essential data is stored on devices, making our tasks faster and more efficient. 

  The perfect evening – indoors or out on the town

Sometimes, after work, my wife and I go out to a concert or a football or basketball game. Sports stadia and theatres are amazing now – you wouldn’t believe what you can do in them with your phone, thanks to a core feature of 5G called massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC), which is all about density. 5G networks can support up to a million devices per square kilometer. This is great news for sports and music fans alike. Never again will you sit in a packed stadium or theatre and be unable to use your phone for face time, data on the match or group you are watching, or shopping in the club store.

Other evenings we might search the Net for a film to watch immediately (gone are the days when we had to plan this to accommodate the download). 5G networks now have speeds of 20 Gbps, meaning you can download a film in a matter of seconds. Compare that to the 4G LTE networks we used to have that ran on speeds of about 20mbps.

Or the kids might be playing a game with contestants on the other side of the world. With 5G, you can wirelessly stream the game’s content into your virtual-reality headset and, with no lag times these days, you can keep up with your opponent in another hemisphere whether you’re playing Fortnite or taking part in light sabre duels.

Or we might visit my parents. My father recently had an operation on his heart done by robots at the local hospital, guided by a top surgeon thousands of kilometres away, who controlled the robots via the Internet. It was a great success and he is recovering quickly at home, monitored by the surgeon and the local hospital using a telepresence unit they installed in his bedroom which can scan his heart or any other part of his body in real time.

Such is life in 2025 thanks to 5G and the technological advances facilitated by the new generation of wireless networks everywhere.

For more insight on what 5G will mean for the world in 2025, read Huawei’s report, Global Industry Vision

Download the White Paper 10 Trends for 2025: Touching the Intelligent World.