5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology that is expected to change the way people live and work by connecting virtually everyone and everything together. Providing significantly faster download and upload speeds than 4G, this latest technology drastically reduces the delay in connection times between devices and wireless networks.
Keith Rumjahn, the CEO of a smart fitness product company, said the 5G network is important to the services and products his business provides because having a faster and more stable Internet connection is vital. He explained that during online fitness classes, a customer’s online streaming experience could be affected by the video’s slow buffering.
“We are also able to deliver 4K video with 5G. If you have experienced high-definition television, once you have watched it, you cannot go back to analogue and I think consumers expect higher quality.”
Mr Rumjahn applied for the Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G after it was launched by the Office of the Communications Authority in May. He emphasised that with 5G, his company now features better artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
“In a live class it is not a one-way interaction, but a two-way interaction. We have an AI technology that measures the body’s activity and that allows the coach to teach many people at the same time and highlight the people who are doing it wrong.”
A lift company is also benefitting from the scheme. It uses 5G to carry out real time monitoring by installing sensors in different parts of its lifts to collect data. Once a malfunction is detected, technicians can swiftly be deployed to the site.
Jeffrey Chan, an assistant technical engineer for the lift company, explained that the biggest advantage of 5G is that it has helped them to increase operational efficiency and reduce unplanned down-time via predictive maintenance. Such technology enabled technicians to identify and solve problems before they occurred.
“Our system processes the data in the cloud, which involves artificial intelligence and machine learning. Trend analysis will be reported in the mobile app and remind technicians that there may be a breakdown in the coming days.”
Mr Chan added that when their technicians encounter difficulties during maintenance, they hold virtual meetings with engineers who can offer them assistance without having to leave the office. As a result, the number of lift breakdowns and down-time due to faulty equipment has been reduced.
The Government launched the Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G under the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund in May to motivate public and private sectors to make use of the technology early so as to foster innovation and smart city development.
Under the scheme, the Government will subsidise 50% of the project costs directly relevant to the deployment of 5G technology, subject to a cap of $500,000.
As of November 6, a total of 20 applications have been approved. The scheme’s application deadline has been extended until May 31, 2021.