5G and Its Importance to the RGV

This last week, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Entrepreneur Summit and one of the presenters, Jon Roberts from TIP Strategies, discussed the importance of 5G and the next big-business boom. There has been a lot of conversation around artificial intelligence (AI), bio-engineering, robotics, and the North American Energy Boom, but the most significant change is coming with 5G.

The techno-revelation is built on a foundation of moving and processing information quicker and at lower costs. The rollout of 5G will be the infrastructure foundation to make all this happen. The 5G infrastructure will be able to carry previously prohibitive volumes of data and will allow a smarter and more connected world. Whether you are talking about driverless cars, flying vehicles, AI, intelligent appliances, advanced manufacturing or superfast data communication, 5G will power all of it and be the game changer.   

The rollout of 5G is in its very beginning, and it will take years (2025), but it will make every new technology that is being proposed a reality. Home WIFI goes away with 5G; there will be no more need to trench or bury cable lines, no more overhanging network cables, no need for network switches and routers or expensive on-premises infrastructure. Fiber will be key, and the City of McAllen has already developed an extensive fiber network throughout the city.

So here are just a few of the new applications 5G brings to a city:

  • The Internet of Things. Commerce and blockchain technology will drive business and opportunities; we are just starting to see the first “weak” signals.
  • Smart Grids. The smart grid will allow direct communications between power companies and consumers through sensors and other devices that minimize consummation and enable cost savings and peak demand services at critical times. The grid becomes smarter and faster with more significant savings.
  • Smart machines. Smart machines don’t work without 5G and it is constant communications between devices that make driverless cars and other devices work.
  • Connected robots. Again, the connectivity between sensors and AI allow the next level robots to operate and create advanced manufacturing.
  • Telemedicine. Underserved areas will have a real alternative and new affordable access with 5G and telemedicine.

5G will enhance gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality. High-speed data flow will further open-up online commerce and will create a whole new opportunity for apps that will be designed to serve us on the move, in our cars, in our homes, and in our offices. There will be a huge demand for new massive data storage and cloud computing facilities on the network.

Who loses in the new 5G market? The experts believe it will be cable providers, traditional network television, and traditional fixed phone networks. Ask a Millennial how much time they spend talking on a smartphone, and they will tell you less than five percent. The winners in this new market will be first-to-market 5G telecom operators, 5G transmitter manufacturers and manufacturers of 5G smartphones and tablets.

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are likely to fight it out for the U.S. market, and there will be significant growth opportunity for Facebook, Netflix and other early “movers” we have not yet seen or discovered.  

With 5G, everything will change and it will be interesting to see how we take advantage of it.