With a global rollout gaining steam by the day, it’s no question that 5G is an exciting new technology, and as we covered in our 5G FAQ, it clearly has the potential to transform whole industries and our very relationship with technology.
But what does that actually look like in practice?
Today, let’s take a look at five real-life success stories of 5G implementation from around the world, so we can better grasp the truly transformative power of this cutting-edge technology.
Sport and Entertainment Venues | United States
AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, has deployed 5G to enhance the fan experience during games and its 30 other high-capacity events throughout the year, including massive sellout events such as concerts by George Strait, the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift.
With its recently-upgraded 5G network, AT&T Stadium provides faster coverage for more devices and enhanced fan experiences, including the augmented reality (AR)-enabled “Pose with the Pros,” where fans can take photo of themselves with their favorite Cowboys players and StARview, which helps fans view live gameday stats, overlaid directly onto the field via their smartphones.
Smart Cities | South Korea
South Korea was the first country to launch a commercial 5G network in 2019, and cities like Busan and Seoul have implemented 5G networks of their own to create smart cities with advanced urban infrastructure management, traffic flow optimization and public safety features.
And while the trend started there, smart cities have since taken on a life of their own. The Smart City Observatory (SCO), part of the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC), began producing a Smart City Index in 2019, which examines and ranks smart cities. From 2021 to 2023, they saw an almost 20% increase in the number of smart cities included, from 118 to 141.
Smart traffic lights use real-time data to adjust signal timings, reducing congestion and improving traffic flow. Public transportation is monitored and managed using 5G-enabled systems, allowing for real-time adjustments and more efficient operations. Integrated emergency services ensure rapid response to incidents, enhancing overall safety and security for residents.
In March 2023, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $94 million in grants awarded to 59 smart city projects across 33 states, proving that smart cities are real, they’re here to stay – and one could be coming to a city near you.
Remote Surgery | China
In China, the use of 5G technology has enabled remote surgery, allowing expert surgeons to operate on patients from a distance.
The world’s first 5G remote surgery was performed in the country back in 2019, when a Chinese doctor removed a laboratory animal’s liver from 30 miles away. That same year, the country broke ground again by conducting the world’s first remote brain surgery, performed by a doctor nearly 1900 miles away from his patient.
This is all possible thanks to 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency, and it has the potential to be a game-changer for healthcare throughout the world. Imagine being able to get access to the best surgeons from anywhere in the country – or even the world – without having the extra stress and expense of traveling to get to them.
And it’s all enabled by 5G.
Industrial Automation | Sweden and United States
Ericsson and Audi have collaborated to deploy 5G in vehicle manufacturing and have come away with stellar results.
From automated guided vehicles (AGVs) maneuvering safely and wirelessly around the factory floor to a robotic arm installing an air bag module stopping immediately and automatically the moment a human hand breaches a “light curtain” of sensors, 5G has been vital to enabling better human-robot collaboration and realizing faster, more flexible production.
Meanwhile, Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory in Lewisville, Texas – which, appropriately enough, produces 5G and advanced antenna system radios – is a highly-automated 5G smart factory designed not only to increase productivity but also to help Ericsson meet its sustainability goals and reach carbon neutrality across all company operations by 2030.
Education | United States
Outside of business and enterprise, major strides are being made in the U.S. to bridge the digital divide, or the gap between those who have access to high-quality internet and those who do not. This divide is felt most prominently in rural areas, where 14.5 million people lack access to fixed broadband.
5G represents the best opportunity yet to bridge this divide, as a 2021 study from Accenture found that 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) could serve 8.4 million rural households. This is due to the technology being rapidly deployable and cost effective, especially compared to traditional alternatives. It’s also why the combined $100 billion being spent in the U.S. to bridge this divide, alongside efforts by carriers and operators, is so critical.
One such example is the recent announcement from T-Mobile, which has partnered with Prisms VR to bring virtual reality headsets into classrooms. By deploying learning programs through Meta Quest 2 VR headsets, connected to T-Mobile’s 5G network, teachers and students can utilize interactive math and science lessons, bringing a new paradigm to traditional education while also helping to close the opportunity gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students.
Technology can and should be used as a force for positive change, and with 5G, the opportunities to do so have never been brighter.
The success stories highlighted above demonstrate the immense potential of 5G technology to transform industries and communities around the world.
From smart cities and remote surgery to entertainment and digital equity, the deployment of 5G networks has already made a significant impact on multiple sectors around the world. As the technology continues to evolve and expand, we can expect even more groundbreaking applications and success stories in the coming years.
The future of 5G is bright, indeed, and we’re only beginning to witness its transformative power.