From healthcare to remote education, 5G has much to offer when it comes to managing a healthcare crisis. The coronavirus outbreak is proving something of a catalyst for 5G innovation, especially in China, with operators and enterprises working closely with one another to help alleviate the burden on the nation’s infrastructure.
Medical applications of 5G have long been some of the most highly anticipated possibilities with the new technology. Perhaps the least complex but the most impactful, is its potential improvements to telemedicine. Low latency, consistent, high-quality video streaming allows medical personnel to accurately assess patients remotely, greatly improving regional access to medical advice. During the coronavirus outbreak, this allowed medics outside of the locked-down epicenter Wuhan to identify CT and X-ray images to help relieve the diagnostic burden on the local physicians. This also reduced the number of people being brought into contact with the disease, with regards to both the remote medical personnel, as well as high-risk patients with chronic illnesses who would have otherwise needed to visit the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
5G is also facilitating a new wave of medical robotics innovation, with robots delivering drugs, checking patients’ temperature, delivering advice, and disinfecting rooms within hospitals, once again reducing the need for human exposure. Smart hospitals are being developed, where 5G-powered AI track the movement of both patients and staff, efficiently redirecting carers to where they are needed most.
Toyota and NTT DoCoMo have struck a $1.8 billion deal to develop a smart city platform, giving the Japanese operator a chance to prove telcos belong at the center of these complex ecosystems. The two locations that will serve as testbeds include Shinagawa Station, in Tokyo, and Woven City, a 175-acre site at the base of Mount Fuji.
Once built, Woven City will be home to 2,000 people and there will be a living lab for trying out new smart city services. Residents, devices, vehicles, buildings and infrastructure will all be connected and monitored by an AI-enhanced, citywide operating system.
Toyota and DoCoMo said in a statement that their smart city platform “will offer value to all domains, from people, cars and houses, to everyday life, business, infrastructure and public services related to residents, businesses, local government.” The aim of the partnership is to enable cities to create a digital twin and offer a platform of platforms that can be linked to other smart city platforms.
Denmark’s fixed broadband penetration of the population will reach 39 per cent by 2024, supported by its National Broadband Strategy.
The country is close to delivering its targets, with fixed broadband coverage approaching 100 per cent of households – up from 92 per cent in 2018, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
“Denmark decided to remain technology-neutral in delivering its broadband targets, however, a lot of fixed broadband development revolves around fiber,” said Sergej Gavrilov, Telecoms Market Data and Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData. “To further stimulate the expansion of 100Mbps broadband, the Ministry of Energy, Power and Climate of Denmark established a $15 million fund in May 2019. The fund is mainly aimed at providing 100Mbps broadband to underserved areas with low population density, where connectivity does not exceed 10Mbps down- and 2Mbps uplink.”
Hopping its latest hurdle, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (Broadband DATA) Act has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Under the 5G Act, the president must consult with Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and other agencies and submit to Congress a plan for rolling out secure 5G, both within and outside the US, within 180 days.
The law requires the FCC to deliver new rules for data collection and “establish a process to verify the accuracy of such data, and more.” The agency has already begun a process to improve the accuracy of its mapping by allowing the accuracy of the data to be verified by crowdsourcing.
Wisconsin utility regulators have awarded $24 million in grants to help bring high-speed internet service to underserved communities.
The grants – which will support 72 projects by 44 companies, municipal and tribal governments – more than doubles the amount of money the state has awarded over the past seven years for broadband expansion.
The funding was authorized in the two-year budget passed in 2019, which included another $24 million in grants for 2021.
According to the grant requests, the projects will extend high-speed internet to as many as 3,182 businesses and 46,537 homes, most of which do not currently have service available.
Nokia has strengthened its portfolio of Wi-Fi mesh systems – a network of interconnected routers designed to eliminate blind spots within the home – with the addition of Beacon 6.
The latest Beacon, which sits alongside Beacon 1 and Beacon 3 in Nokia’s Wi-Fi mesh stable, is the first Nokia Wi-Fi device to support Wi-Fi 6, a next-gen tech that promises to be a smart-home boon.
A Series of Fortunate Events – by Broadband Forum
From the smart home to your home, listen to the latest USP webinar
Broadband Forum has published its ‘Monetizing the Connected Home Webinar’ which is available to view here. If you would like access to the slide deck from the USP webinar to find out more about how Broadband Forum is unleashing the connected home ecosystem, please click here.
Knowing me, knowing you…
From 5G and the smart home to next-generation access and network automation, Broadband Forum is working on a series of initiatives to enable the next era of connectivity. If you would like to track or get involved in these projects, you can learn more about Broadband Forum’s work in progress here or visit its YouTube channel for further insight.