15 June 2020
The director of IMDEA Networks Institute and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid professor Arturo Azcorra has been interviewed by the magazine published by INESE, about the present and future of 5G in Spain. He explained how this technology will revolutionize the lives of citizens and talked about the range of advantages it offers.
Azcorra stresses that “we currently have a limited deployment of the 5G radio interface”. However, he anticipates “initial deployment comprising of stand-alone systems, with full 5G capabilities” taking place by the end of 2020. According to the professor, “the main customers of 5G will be companies and “professional services”, called ‘verticals’ in 5G terminology, not private users.”
“The main revolution of 5G is the integration of computing in a distributed way within the network,” says Azcorra. This is called Edge Computing. To understand this concept, Azcorra explains that “since 1850, when the electric telegraph was invented, the network has been a means of transporting information: information (data, image and sound) was injected at one end and reached the other. With Edge Computing, the network becomes a factory of telematic services for all sectors: manufacturing, transport, health, energy, entertainment, and so on.”
In this context, the users’ objective is not to communicate with another user at the other end of the network, rather to communicate with the network itself. In addition, Edge Computing allows a response time of nearly one millisecond, something “essential for cyber-physical systems, augmented reality, video and virtual reality games, and many other applications”.
Among the benefits that this technology will bring to companies and financial sectors, for example in insurance, Azcorra explains that “they will continue their strong trend towards virtualization, deepening their digital transformation and incorporating Big Data and Artificial Intelligence techniques”.
According to Azcorra, 5G will revolutionize society and the economy by allowing things that now seem unimaginable to us such as “cars driving themselves, cameras with facial recognition, robotic factories, delivery by drones, virtual museums, augmented reality, personalized health care, automatic emergency responses”.
The director of IMDEA Networks also spoke about the health crisis we are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his opinion, Spain “is contributing to an improvement in digital transformation, with a large increase in teleconferencing, administrative procedures based on telematic services and the use of digital signatures”.