The most popular response was ‘Manufacturing/Industry 4.0’ which perhaps is not surprising given the huge interest there currently is in private networks. 5G is often cited as a key technology enabler for connectivity within the enterprise, especially with its support for URLLC. Machine control will require the millisecond latencies that URLLC provides and there are many projects ongoing to explore the improvements that can be gained from deploying, for example Time Synchronous Networking over reliable wireless connectivity in place of the more costly and less flexible wired enterprise networks.
‘Media and gaming’ was the second most popular application. It’s clear there is a trend away from broadcast TV towards streaming on demand. It’s also clear that gaming is growing rapidly in competition with TV and evolving into e-sports with audiences that easily outcompete those of physical events. There is also growing interest in improving the 2-dimensional display-based experiences become augmented and virtual reality experiences, made possible by improved display technologies and QoS. There have been many visionary endeavours to explore the augmentation of sight and sound-based experience with other senses, such as touch, smell and taste. Clearly these innovations and applications made an impact on our audience. Perhaps in this time of lockdown we would like to see how technology, including 5G, can transport us to faraway places and experiences in a more realistic manner.
3rd place in the poll was ‘Health and social care’. It’s clear that this is going through dramatic transformation. Before Coronavirus, an aging population was driving costs of care up with more chronic illnesses. Costs were also increasing as treatments were becoming more complex. Industry has responded by shifting focus from the treating of illnesses to the managing of health through the use of data analytics. A change in focus in which technologies such as wearables, improved sensing and measurement of patients’ well-being and the remote provision of care services enables an improved quality of life.
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