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Infographic – U.S. Falling Way Behind on 5G

5G development

The state of 5G roll out in selected countries in 2018. Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

11 August 2018. You don’t have to be a long-time reader of Science & Enterprise to know we focus a lot of attention on the role and potential of mobile technologies in advancing health care and other parts of our lives and economy. The success of mobile devices depends on their underlying technologies, with the next generation of mobile standards known as 5G in the queue. On Thursday, our friends at Statista published a chart showing the U.S. is falling well behind other advanced countries in implementing 5G networks, the subject of this weekend’s infographic.

5G networks are important for high-speed data transmissions needed in sophisticated and complex applications such as virtual and augmented reality. As noted last month by CNet, 5G reduces or eliminates latency — the time needed for data to flow from the handset to the network and back — in these applications which slows the synchronization of images in these applications. The links below give recent examples of experiments with virtual and augmented reality in health care.

Statista draws its data from a recent report by the accounting and consulting company Deloitte. The report indicates Japan is leading the world in establishing 5G capabilities, in terms of population and geographic density, with China not far behind. The U.S. is a laggard on both measures. The Deloitte report notes …

[U]nless tangible steps are taken to help rebalance the private investment case for the upgrade with the demonstrated external benefits to other industries and the public good, the United States may risk losing the leadership it gained in the previous era. The negative consequences could take decades to overcome, and other countries are already making their moves.

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