The Eight Currencies of 5G: throughput; connected device density; data volume; energy efficiency; near-instant latency; reliability; and more


5G will alter the technology landscape so dramatically, it’s considered the main driver of Industry 4.0 — the next big thing, which according to AT&T, “will rely on the underlying capabilities of next-generation 5G networks.”

During the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg highlighted the eight currencies of 5G to illustrate how it is already transforming the technology landscape even in the deployment and implementation stage.



Throughput and Deployment Speed

With 10 GB per second of throughput, 5G will enable the realization of autonomous vehicles and smart factories while supporting remote healthcare services and AR/VR solutions. It allows for real-time consumption of content by eliminating barriers associated with time.


In terms of deployment speed, 5G allows for services and applications to be deployed quickly without the need to install additional hardware. This will lead to a dramatic reduction in typical service deployment times. The quicker deployment will reduce reaction time to changes in the market across different sectors including the media. New York Times CEO Mark Thompson expects the throughput and speedy deployments offered by 5G to “spark a revolution in digital journalism.”

Mobility and Connected Devices

With mobile connection speeds of approximately 500 km/hour and the capacity to support up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometer, the possibilities with 5G are limitless. For one, the number of connected devices supported by 5G will undoubtedly facilitate a true IoT.

According to a GSMA report on IoT, 5G’s massive number of connected devices will “ultimately help to realize the vision of a global IoT network.” One of the dreams expected to be delivered by 5G’s mobility and connected devices is the widespread adoption of self-driving cars. The full realization of truly autonomous highways has been hindered by lower speed and number of connections under 4G.

Data Volume and Energy Efficiency

In a technologically competitive environment of Industry 4.0, the volume of information and data transmitted and fed into machines and devices will take various operations to the next level. The 5G network is expected to support data volume of up to 10 terabits/km2. This massive data volume will enable penetration in high-density areas such as stadiums and airports, which previously experienced congestion-related issues due to the inefficiencies of 4G.



It is expected that 5G will to reduce power usage by up to 90%. This massive reduction will not only increase profitability but also contribute to global efforts to combat climate change. Reducing CO2 emissions is also the obligation of the telecommunications industry, asserts CEO Vestberg.

Latency and Reliability

Latency is one of the most important currencies of 5G while reliability is vital for systems that require accurate and real-time connectivity consistently such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

The benefits of low-latency and reliable connectivity offered by 5G is not lost to companies evidenced by increasing use cases such as MEDIVIS. The health care company is maximizing the capabilities of technologies by combining augmented reality, machine learning, and computer vision for medical imaging used throughout surgery.

The benefits already gained from 5G substantiate expectation that the eight currencies will transform technology landscape effecting widespread changes in all industries, big and small.


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