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Bangkok Post - Saviour or hype?
Saviour or hype?
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Saviour or hype?

5G offers promise but may take time to reach its potential, write Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, Tharittawat Samejaidee and William Hicks

Panellists discuss whether 5G will truly be a game changer in the telecom world. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Panellists discuss whether 5G will truly be a game changer in the telecom world. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

5G can lead to an explosion of innovation among creatives and content creators, but not before the technology becomes affordable and widely available, says a panel of local tech gurus at the Bangkok Post's "5G: The Game Changer" event on Thursday.

BETTER SPEEDS, BETTER CONTENT

Aticharn Cherngchavano, the renowned tech content creator known as Ou-Spin9, pointed out 5G not only ensures the fastest speed internet signal, but also caters to multiple connected devices in a certain area.

"When 5G speeds come into full force, developers will be able to usher in broader ranges of content, including immersive 3D elements." — Aticharn Cherngchavano, Tech content creator

He said content developers are now designing their materials in line with the current network speed, such as 4G, but in the future when 5G speeds come into full force, developers will be able to usher in broader ranges of content, including immersive 3D elements.

"As soon as 5G is broadly adopted, there will be a wide variety of new content, including those linked with augmented and virtual reality," said Mr Aticharn.

He also believes 5G will be a boon for various industries, including automotive.

Mr Aticharn said it normally takes 0.7 seconds for drivers to apply car brakes when the car is travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, meaning it takes 19 metres before the vehicle can stop. This allows some risk for an accident, he said.

With autonomous vehicles, cars can synchronise with other vehicles around them to ensure more road safety, said Mr Aticharn.

As more equipment is connected in a certain area, this can bring the concept of a smart home to the next level, he said.

ADOPT OR BE DISRUPTED

Panraphee Raphiphan, chief executive of aHappener Co, said 5G will bring about new innovations in cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).

"Technology-enabled business models and connected coherent value networks are two factors that enable disruptive innovation." — Panraphee Rap hiphan, Chief executive, aHappener

She said technology-enabled business models and connected coherent value networks are two factors that enable disruptive innovation.

"5G is an enabling technology, apart from AI, IoT, blockchain, VR, big data and bots," said Ms Panraphee. "Companies need to watch these as they will impact or disrupt their businesses unless they leverage the technology to create new services and innovations, while workers need to reskill to cope with the new technology before it disrupts their careers."

OVERHYPED?

Pongsuk Hiranprueck, chief executive of Show No Limit, said 5G might be overpromising its capabilities and will not likely generate much public enthusiasm until prices come down on 5G-enabled devices.

"The technology will not likely generate much public enthusiasm until prices come down on 5G-enabled devices." — Pongsuk Hiranprueck, Chief executive, Show No Limit

"Every generation overpromises," he said.

"2G promised video on mobile phones, but it was not possible. Then 4G promised IoT networks, but it was also not possible."

In the future Mr Pongsuk predicts there will be 6.58 devices per person and the 5G network would need to accommodate as many as 1 million devices in one square km.

Currently a 5G-enabled smartphone can cost as much as 30,000-50,000 baht. They have gained little traction with Thai consumers, especially during a financial crisis.

"People are always a little excited when moving from one G to another, but we only have two suppliers and they have to buy the chips from the US," Mr Pongsuk said.

He said more than the increase in speed, the ultra-low latency is 5G's greatest asset.

In addition to giving gamers a better user experience, companies across sectors must find ways to utilise low latency to make their products and operations more efficient, said Mr Pongsuk.

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