The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) recently announced in a press release on 7 May 2019 that it was seeking consultation for the rollout of 5G networks in Singapore. The timeline for this is by 2020 and a key proposal made by IMDA would also be for at least two nationwide 5G networks to be set up by then. This entails capital expenditure being made by the incumbent telecommunication companies, and their investments would help to build out the necessary infrastructure required for 5G to function properly.
So how does artificial intelligence (AI) fit into this grand plan? AI is already making leaps and bounds in terms of what it can achieve, and the introduction of 5G would further augment this technology and introduce even more areas for the implementation of AI in our daily lives.
Why does 5G matter?
5G networks are being touted as the “next big leap” in mobile and wireless communications. Such networks are capable of hitting speeds which are around 20 times faster than peak speeds on 4G networks. Not only that, but 5G networks also allow for a higher level of connectivity to mobile and other devices, thus creating a stronger network effect.
How does AI integrate with 5G?
AI is already making use of sensors and real-time data to make decisions and to monitor real-world events. An example would be sensors detecting that the owner of a house is reaching home soon, and the AI automatically turns on the air-con in response so that the house is cool by the time the owner steps in.
5G networks would enhance these features as there would be more sensors located on roads, buildings and other structures, which would continually feed data into the AI system. This connectivity opens the door to many practical applications like those mentioned above.
How smart a nation can we become?
The government’s vision is to make Singapore a smart nation, and there is still a long runway for us in terms of progressing towards that ideal state. 5G networks would provide the spark, and act as a needed catalyst for this transition. AI itself is continually improving and machine learning should enable even more advancements in future.
With the “Internet of Things” being touted as the next big thing in AI, 5G networks would make this a reality, and propel Singapore forward in its goal of becoming a smart nation. There are potentially many more achievements we could lay claim to when 5G networks go live and I look forward to these with eager anticipation.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice.