5G: Concluding statements

I have covered the ongoing saga of the 5G deployments. This isn’t the end of the conversation; rather an ongoing continuum of the space. There are no black and white statements, but the reason why I chose to focus on the tech and hardware side is that technology is changing at a rapid pace. As leaders, we need to be aware of the policy shadows and operational costs of the AI.

University websites and startups promise the “dawn of personalised medicine” – though it remains on the fringes or still requires rapid dissemination. The idea of a breakthrough has become convoluted. A breakthrough in medicine (or science) is when it impacts a large proportion of population. An iPhone isn’t a breakthrough, but it was an incremental change in policies around the App Store, strategic marketing, and the naivete of its consumers. Penicillin was a breakthrough in science because it changed the contours. Lister’s “anti-sepsis” was a breakthrough (by washing hands) that it had become ingrained.

5G will create a rapid divide, as it will take at least 3-5 years to become “generalised” for populace to shift towards 5G devices. In the best case scenario, I don’t foresee anything for 5G for consumers since downloading Netflix faster won’t create any excitement. 5G will still have some lag that will impede the telemedicine spread. I won’t be surprised to see mainstream media popping up to claim rural communities are not getting the “speeds” they deserve. The only solution is to focus on local municipal laws and federal legislative structures to provide incentives for rapid fibre deployment. Take the fibre in far-flung areas and explore incentive structure/financial modelling for companies to provision mobile broadband to those communities out of the digital loop. It won’t be profitable – therefore, it will require specific subsidies. The futuristic VR goggles won’t come knocking (even though the biggest FAANG company is betting heavily in favour of “metaverse”).

All of this profoundly impacts healthcare delivery. There will be a lot of political jousting for the “standards”, including “telemedicine”, chatbots and bots using natural language processing. Yet, we need to understand that these are “solutions” looking for problems. NLP to understand “tone and tenor” has been used in the companies providing customer care solutions. How can they be used in the healthcare? 5G, data centres and increased requirements for the energy will have an additional carbon footprint.

Let’s wait and watch!

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