Today marks the arrival of the first publicly accessible 5G networks in Britain. Whilst speeds are far from their optimum as coverage continues to expand, by year’s end, 5G will offer widespread and dramatic benefits to ordinary people, businesses, educators and health professionals throughout the UK.
Even at this early stage, public tests have been highly impressive. As part of a demonstration of 5G’s capabilities, Britain’s state broadcaster conducted a live telecast using an ordinary mobile phone over a 5G network powered by Huawei technology. 5G’s ability to put studio quality live video in the hands of ordinary people will further help the information revolution to transform the way that people communicate, receive the news and engage in the arts and entertainment sectors.
The arrival of new and groundbreaking technologies typically elicits feelings of joyous anticipation among the general public but with positive reactions to technological breakthroughs also comes a deeply hostile reaction from a minority of technophobic neo-luddites who are paranoid about furthering the human condition. For some, reacting negatively to objectively positive technological breakthroughs and their socially beneficial outcomes is a matter of requiring an ego massage and seeking to attain one by virtue of attracting undue attention through being a vocal contrarian.
Others yet have a superficial aversion to technology due to an irrational fear that with technological change, negative social consequences are inevitable. History however has shown that technological breakthroughs from the printing press to electricity and the aeroplane to the personal computer have all made life vastly better for those at all positions within society.
5G represents the next great breakthrough in wireless technology and its consequences will not only enrich and improve the human condition but it will also literally save lives.
Earlier this year in a global first, 5G technology was used to operate surgical robots during a a man’s treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Performing brain surgery through 5G controlled robots, Dr. Ling Zhipei was at the controls of the sophisticated medical equipment in Sanya City while the patient was in an operating theatre 3,000 kilometres away at a hospital in the Chinese capital Beijing.
The operation was a success with the patient telling medical staff that once the anaesthetic wore off, he felt much better for having had the operation.
This breakthrough came only months after a surgeon in Fujian performed a successful remote operation on a lab animal using signals transmitted from his surgical controller over a 5G network which sent commands to a surgical robot that removed the liver from the animal on a surgical bed in a distant location. Because of the extremely low lag time over a 5G network, the doctor was able to conduct the remote surgery in such a way so as to minimise any potential complications caused by the latency associated with older communications systems.
Unlike 4G networks in which there is a delay between the surgeon inputting a command and the robot executing it, over Huawei designed 5G networks there is virtually no lag time (aka latency) between the doctor manipulating the controls and the robots responding. Likewise, video footage of the organs in question taken from robotic cameras is fed to the doctor in true real time.
The rapid leap from conducting a successful veterinary surgery on a lab animal to conducting remote 5G brain surgery on a human patient marks a new era in medical technology that holds great potential for bringing better treatment to those afflicted with serious ailments throughout the world. Specifically, in respect of developing countries, the 5G transmission of signals from a surgeon in one country to a surgical robot and team of nurses in another will one day allow specialists in highly complex medical situations to care for patients in remote parts of the world that would otherwise never have direct access to high quality and supremely innovative medial care.
The 5G remote brain surgery continues to represent one of the great strides forward in 21st century medical technology. By forgoing the need for highly trained surgeons to travel long distances in order to treat a patient, the new pioneering methods of Chinese doctors and technology experts are helping to shape a new era in medical science in which ordinary people in need of complex surgical treatment will ultimately be the major beneficiaries.
As China is at the forefront of all of these epoch making innovations, it can be said that Chinese scientists are not only helping to make business more efficient, more cost effective and more consumer friendly, but they are actively working to make the world a better place by helping to expand the power of surgical innovation around the world through the use of remote surgery made possible by 5G network speeds.
This is yet another reason why complaints about Huawei technology in the US and some of its traditional partner nations is not only fatuous but could be deeply detrimental to those looking to receive medical treatment that is both of the best quality and deliverable in spite of erstwhile logistical setbacks. For many who seek both more advanced and lower cost medical treatment, China is providing workable solutions that meet the challenges of a changing world.
Beyond this power to save lives, 5G will also help ordinary people to instantly share data and multimedia in such a way that renders most physical storage media totally unnecessary and even obsolete. Recent tests by China Mobile, the China Media Group and Huawei have successfully streamed 4K Ultra-HD video and hi-resolution audio over a 5G network. This means that far from just ending the irritating phenomenon of slow download times and buffering on the streaming of normal HD video and standard quality audio, 5G will allow for the highest possible quality in both audio and video to be seamlessly streamed from anywhere to anywhere around the world. With 5G it is possible to stream content from a mobile device that is of higher quality than that which was previously only possible in the world’s most advanced digital cinemas.
This is not only good for consumer convenience, but 5G can also help to create a more environmental friendly means of sharing high quality multi-media. This is the case because it neither requires the shipping of physical storage formats from one location to another, whilst it also creates high speeds via mobile networks that are faster than current speeds on both expensive satellite and terrestrial broadband systems.
In respect of education, high speed multimedia streaming will allow schools in countries with underdeveloped infrastructure to have instant access to educational materials including videos, digitised text books, digitised primary sources and scientific manuals that would otherwise have been logistically and economically out of reach.
Overall, for those living in both developed and underdeveloped countries, 5G will eventually render existing fiber-optic and satellite technologies largely unnecessary as 5G will be able to accomplish higher speeds at a lower cost vis-a-vis these older transmission formats. Likewise, the reliance on optical discs will effectively be eliminated while even traditional hard drives could be rendered less necessary for the average business and consumer than they currently are, thanks to high speed cloud storage made possible by 5G innovation.
The world that 5G will make possible is one that was once the dream of science fiction authors and those who imagined a life where the world’s beauty, knowledge and information could be at one’s fingertips without high cost, without cumbersome wires and without the need to invest in the maintenance of old fashioned infrastructure.
Not only does 5G provide an opportunity for those in the first world to take a major leap forward, but even more importantly, 5G will help the developing world to take a giant leap into a modern era in which a better future awaits all. Those who say otherwise are touting the same devious agenda as those who in previous epochs opposed the invention of the printing press, camera, locomotive, car, electricity, recorded sound, air travel, magnetic recording, the digital revolution, personal computing and the smart phone itself.
The future belongs to those who dare to dream and 5G will allow dreams to come true in both the developed and developing world.