5G expectations and myths

Technology that began operating in France in 2020 and extended in the course of this year, 5G is still a subject that stirs passions.

But how will this new technology impact the current world?

Although from the point of view of « individual uses », the benefits seem minimal ; 5G is a way of driving innovation that will significantly improve professional sectors in the future.

This is particularly the case in the e-commerce’s sector where 5Gs will allow progress for the user experience.

Indeed, this technology will have several repercussions:

–  A democratization of Augmented Reality; allowing us to visualize the desired items (a lamp in a living room, a t-shirt on oneself, etc.) directly in the environments of customers.

– A significantly reduced loading time on e-commerce websites (mobile), allowing a smoother customer experience and thus increasing the conversion rate.

– An optimal personalization of the content displayed; 5G will allow customers to adapt the user path to their profiles; as well as personalized marketing campaigns , and this in real time. Thanks to the strength of both 5G & Artificial Intelligence.

– A total omnichannel experience thanks to a real-time harmonization of the in-store and online offer (for click & collect); at the same time, the geographical accuracy offered by 5G would (for example) allow notifications to be sent directly to mobiles as soon as customers pass in front of a sign they have recently searched for.

– Finally, the advent of 5G will allow an optimal predictive inventory management, due to the increased amount of data generated by connected devices to 5G networks.

Nevertheless, these innovations and improvements come at a cost: the calculated environmental impact is significant.

Indeed, the electricity consumption for 5G antennas VS 4G is expected to be multiplied by 3.5. However, it has been shown that 5G antennas are less energy-intensive in terms of the energy ratio. It has been calculated that for the same volume of data delivered, 5G consumes less than 4G.

However, beyond the energy efficiency of the technology, it is the question of a possible rebound effect that raises questions. The idea of the rebound effect is that the gain in energy efficiency is offset by an increase in consumption.

This point has been demonstrated by an early adaptation of the 5G technology : South Korea, and in particular the operator SK Telecom. This company has seen the volume of internet traffic consumed on the network multiplied by 3 by going from 4G to 5G.

Thus, and although the advances are real and undoubtedly allow us to push innovation in multiple sectors, at a time when ecological awareness is becoming globalized, a questioning of our vision of progress should be open to public debate.

« It is not Earth that we should kill but our vision of progress » – Aurélien Barreau

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