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Hot Topic at Consumer Electronics Show 2019: 5G

Jan 12, 2019


This year’s CES saw hordes of attendees from the technology industry flocked to Las Vegas to see this biggest, newest, smartest, and most advanced tech on display – and to get a preview of what to prepare for.

5G: CES Talked About Who Has It, Who Wants It, Who Does NOT Want It, And Why

Entrance to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the hottest ticket in town, and while anyone can attend, registrants do need to prove some link to the technology industry through a questionnaire inquiring reason(s) for attendance. Legitimizing registration has become necessary, with over 200,000 attendees each year on average – imagine how many inquiries don’t gain entry!

Given CES is a showcase for super cool gadgetry and futuristic tech, industry people shell out big bucks for rooms on the Las Vegas Strip, and Uber and Lyft drivers come from neighboring cities and states to meet demand – and make some quick cash. In fact, transportation is a major challenge during CES, taxing the local buses and taxis and causing surge pricing for rideshare services.

The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was no different than prior years, dominated by talks of 5G, the next-generation standard for wireless service. The fifth generation (5G) of cellular mobile communication is the latest generation, following 2G, 3G, and 4G, each boasting more technologically advanced capabilities and faster speeds than its predecessor. 5G was developed to support higher data rates to meet increasing consumer demand for data, and CES focused on the integration of 5G into technology and the capabilities supported.

Much of the need for 5G lies in demand; consumer demand is blending with commercial demand through the use of commercial applications and the redefined scope of the professional workplace. 5G offers speed without tying a user to a physical location due to infrastructure. Four walls no longer define an office, and sophisticated networking skills allow professionals to expand their geographical boundaries and the scope of their business and relationships. This was demonstrated by CES attendance, where Chinese presence was bigger than ever, with companies and their executives present, indicating the political level is not impacting the commercial level.

The next standard for wireless service, 5G, is seeing earliest deployment, though based on CES we can expect a much more widely deployed footprint next year. We can expect that wireless 5G will likely become more available to these mobile professionals soon, but is still another 2-3 years away before becoming fully implemented. That said, CES not only predicts 5G technology will be integrated into everything, but sees this is already the case. 5G does offer a few challenges:

  • Tech from CES focused on wireless access to the Internet in home or business, either primary or backup connection
  • 5G connectivity is restricted somewhat to a shorter range, so there is a need for more densely configured antennas
    • If 5G is deployed within a neighborhood with a fiber backhaul, it’s easier to service in a wide area
    • Isn’t currently ideal for someone driving around using a smartphone
  • 5G is poised to supplant the wireless experience in the home or workspace, whereas previous generations/iterations have been supplemental. With 5G expected to be the “killshot” to wired services by traditional providers, we can expect to see a truly disruptive experience – in more ways than one.

Adversely, there are communities mobilizing against 5G due to the required towers being seen as visual blights. These communities are organizing efforts and attempting to stop implementation, which begs to ask what happens to these communities when 5G becomes the communications standard? When 5G is the basis for Internet and connectivity, and where these communities once rallied and have placed themselves into a position where their Internet service becomes obsolete and they are woefully behind the times and then technology will struggle to keep up.

Cool Concepts

CES offered attendees far more than just 5G talk, and just one feature was a focus on autonomous vehicle development becoming a growing industry and a bigger part of the conversation. Ford, Toyota, VW were showing concept autonomous vehicle models at CES, as were companies who were showcasing self-driving buses for communities like college campuses or retirement communities. Another way companies were reducing carbon footprints, emissions, and developing ways to have less of an environmental impact while still meeting transportation needs were solar or electric powered vehicles developed with today’s consumers in mind.

We can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for you – and how we can help!

Contact Alvarez Technology Group at (831) 753-7677 today to talk about what we can do to make 2019 your best year yet!

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