5G is the latest generation of wireless mobile network, designed to improve the quality of connectivity and expand the armoury of applications and devices that are available to us.
The evolution of 5G has enabled more of us to stay connected with faster speeds and less time to build on networks. But 5G is not only revolutionising how we use the internet, it is also playing an important role in our daily lives.
Take education as an example, where a superior network is allowing for more immersive classroom experiences to cater for every variety of student.
Or in managing our cities, where 5G is driving efficiencies by optimising traffic light control and public transport systems in real-time.
Several Irish companies that are supported by Enterprise Ireland, such as Taoglas, Benetel, Druid Software and Alpha Wireless, are playing important roles in enabling the proliferation of global 5G and its adoption.
This begins with the antennas that anchor the 5G network, which are responsible for transmitting and receiving high-frequency signals that make fast and reliable coverage possible.
In telemedicine, 5G antennas are powering secure, instantaneous transmission of data-rich tasks such as processing X-rays and MRIs.
This can greatly benefit patients, particularly in rural areas where access to specialised medical care may be limited.
When it comes to 5G, however, the antenna infrastructure required for a robust network means greater density of units to ensure coverage.
Alpha Wireless is working through this challenge by reimagining antenna design to solve both functional and aesthetic shortcomings. This Irish company is creating bespoke antennas which can be concealed in street works, such as lighting poles and recycling bins, to improve the aesthetic and utility of 5G installations for the community.
The 5G network core is another vital component. It is the backbone supporting new 5G technology and applications, routing data, and keeping things connected behind the scenes.
The 5G core transmits large volumes of data in real-time, which means a seamless service that can power augmented and virtual reality consumer applications.
For example, music fans might soon be able to enjoy an immersive virtual experience of their favourite artist without having to leave home.
The Raemis platform from Druid Software acts as a central control and management element in 5G enterprise networks.
Think of it as the coaching staff of a team, managing the players who will execute the gameplan. Druid Software is working with major multinationals like Intel and VMware to deliver it, and it is seen as one of the most adaptable and interoperable core platforms.
Also topical in 5G has been the proposed benefit of O-RAN (open Radio Access Networks). It is a modern wireless communication network based on open interfaces and standards, allowing for the integration of components, like radio units, from different vendors.