Paving the way for 5G
Nathan ElliottCEO and Founder of FrontRunner Technologies

Pause to think about how far technology has come, from carrier pigeons to instant messaging, and you will soon realize how the introduction of a next-generation of mobile broadband is unequivocally good news.

Today, the hardware and infrastructure required to support the advent of 5G is something both consumers and tech-driven companies can get excited about, as it means better, stronger and faster connections between people and the world they live in. Unlike the jump from 3G to 4G, the fifth generation of mobile technology is a revolutionary development, promising data delivery ten times faster than its predecessors. Some refer to it as “10G technology” to better comprehend the significance of its impact but make no mistake: the jump to 5G will yield the modern equivalent of how the fax rendered telegraphs obsolete, or, better yet, replicate the replacement of horse-drawn carriages with introduction of a full-fledged automotive industry where none existed before. Canada is at the cusp of a technological revolution, with 5G representing a 360-degree solution for Smart Cities coast to coast. With the proper integration, this means improved social capital and a better quality of life for Canadians once federal regulations and tech companies solidify the framework for implementation—currently a goal for 2020.

Vibrant Smart Cities

The increased connectivity and computing capacity unleashed by 5G cutting-edge technologies will bring the power of Smart Cities to tech companies across the world, particularly to digital enterprises that aim to bring content to where people are, transforming downtown cores, shopping centers, airports, public places and more. These high-speed wireless networks will enable urban areas to become the Smart Cities we always dreamed the future would promise. Reduced commute times, improved public safety and significant smarter grid efficiencies are only a few of several benefits that the new urban infrastructure would provide. Smart city projects can rely heavily on various connected devices that send meaningful information about what is happening in a city or urban areas – connected devices could be anything from buses, streetcars and other modes of public transportation sending real-time traffic and congestion information, data from CCTV monitoring across different locations in the city or location data from mobile devices. With 5G integrated appropriately, it enables the open flow of information and data, which drives entire public transport networks, not to mention telecommunications and connectivity between people. By integrating facial recognition technology with billboards, mobile phones and any other relevant devices, data can easily be shared across the entire network to improve the quality of life of each citizen. Although 5G is not here yet, it is paramount for digital businesses to not only evaluate how it will help their enterprises, but also understand the impact it will make on their industries, their consumers and, ultimately, their bottom line.

Breakthrough Momentum for Automation

The public already expects omnipresent, always-on networks and services—the adoption of 5G will lead many enterprises to embrace automation in order to keep up with demands, meaning even more technological breakthroughs can be expected. Meeting these new challenges will require automation as a critical component of any network management strategy; real-time monitoring of network and data centers will become imperative. The sheer number of computations and connections will demand automated traffic management that factors in conditions beyond geography, such as real-time data center performance and traffic fluency. These considerations will be key to optimizing application performance and while automation is clearly not a one-off, switch-on task, constant re-assessment of network architecture will become the norm as well as cloud platforms, big data analytics and new IoT business models. Data analytics are critical to breathe new life into smart city projects as well. Because of the continuous and real-time nature of computations and architecture in a smart city project, data analytics teams need to slice information in specific time windows to detect anomalies, find specific patterns and make any necessary transformations that will ultimately enable the city to react to situations and urban events in real-time or at “5G speed”.

The advantages of adopting 5G technology in Canada are evident. While individuals will benefit from new, revolutionary ways to connect with each other and their cities, the entire nation is going to be reshaped by tech investments and the exponential technological growth underpinned by 5G and its imminent arrival. The opportunity exists to become a pioneering nation in a “soon-to-be 5G world” however we need to hold our government and major tech companies accountable and embrace this mammoth innovation responsibly. Building a framework that enables tech operators to ensure the Smart City and Automation trajectory is delivered should be prioritized over supplier relations or political opposition, as 5G is here to stay.

FrontRunnerTM is changing the face of the Digital Out of Home (DOOH), commercial real estate, and retail industries through the WindowFrontTM Matrix. The Matrix is composed of street-level windows, and our FireFly Illumination System delivers real-time content to them. We bring video to where the people are – downtown cores, shopping centres, airports, undergrounds – to transform public spaces.