Telecoms technologies are experiencing rapid changes; disruptive technology is creating new markets in areas where traditionally the telecoms industry had no role to play. A catalyst for this will be the development of 5G technology. 5G has been created to keep up with modern day demand for a constant connection to the internet with download speeds significantly faster than its predecessor 4G, reaching up to 10 gigabits per second.

The explosion of smart devices driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken and will continue to shift telecoms from beyond connections to traditional mobile and PC devices to door locks, cars, wearables, security cameras, and home appliances.

5G has huge potential across many industries including automotive, health care and agriculture. At the recent Total Telecoms Congress in London, Saul Penhallow, Director - Communications, Networkers was there to hear the latest telecoms trends:

“It is mind-blowing to hear of concepts that are now becoming reality such as autonomous buses which have begun their first trials in Helsinki, Finland. In agriculture there has been a technological shift from advanced mechatronic systems to Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). This means that farmers can now use technology to monitor the quality of potatoes through wireless technology such as the ‘smart potato’ by KPN. The practical use of these technologies will not only reduce costs but will also benefit customers who can enjoy a higher quality product.”

Currently, it is estimated that there are 6.4 billion connected devices in the world and Gartner predicts that 20.8 billion devices will be connected by 2020. This anticipated increase shows just how significant the future of the Internet of Things market is. As adoption of 5G and wireless technologies increases, there will be a huge demand for tech professionals with the skills to implement these technologies as Saul explains:

“The future demand for professionals with skills to sell, manage and integrate implementations such as Long Range Wireless Technology will significantly grow in the coming years. This will create a need for businesses to recruit a range of technology professionals from R&D experts and Software Developers to Product Managers and Sales Executives.”

The potential of 5G has been talked about and demonstrated for years, but when are we likely to experience it on a day-to-day basis?

Despite it already being available in some test locations around the United States, most experts predict that 5G won’t be widely available until 2020. In the meantime, businesses across all sectors should plan how to integrate wireless technology into their business and come up with a plan to find the skills they need to drive these innovations.

Does 5G technology and its associated technologies excite you? What do you think the future of telecommunications looks like? Let us know by taking part in our Voice of the Workforce survey. Please note the last chance to share your views in the survey is on Monday 14 November 2016.

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