With the 5G rollout well underway across the Hunter Region and the country, the Newcastle Herald recently caught up with our Sales and Marketing Director, Michael Wilson, to discuss what this means for local businesses and the ‘Internet of Things’.

As we’ve written previously, 5G is the fastest-growing mobile technology in history and is being adopted globally at four times the rate of 4G LTE when it was introduced. This opens up some amazing possibilities in many sectors of the economy, with examples such as smarter autonomous mining trucks and 5G-connected cows.

To discuss what this means for businesses in the Hunter, the Newcastle Herald recently spoke with Michael about the real-world implications of 5G and why the technology will be an enabler for the Internet of Things.

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Some of what Michael had to say

Telstra is rapidly deploying this technology with 50 per cent of Australians now covered, including much of Newcastle and the Hunter. It plans to have 75 per cent of the population covered by June this year. Increasing 5G coverage and investment in the technology will drive take-up.

The speed of 5G will be “a game-changer”. Tests of 5G download speeds have showed Telstra had an average speed of 231 mbps [megabits per second], almost five times the speed of 4G. 5G also offers 10 times greater device capacity than 4G, meaning it can handle many more high-demand devices at once.

The productivity impacts of 5G will be felt widely, with the Federal Bureau of Communications estimating that 5G will add $1300 to $2000 in gross domestic product per person, after the first decade of its rollout.

Agriculture is one sector that’s set to be transformed and one that I’m personally passionate about, having grown up on a dairy farm. I see huge scope for Internet of Things applications and 5G is an enabler of many of these. This includes so-called “5G-connected cows”, which enable farmers to track cattle’s eating and sleeping patterns, rumination, fertility and day-to-day health.

5G will also greatly accelerate augmented reality – I see massive applications for this within lots of industries such as mining, heavy industry and manufacturing.

Michael Wilson – Forsythes Technology

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