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The 5G future: Merging the physical and digital realms?

Posting in Technology

According to ZTE, 5G wireless technology is going to be the catalyst that brings the physical and digital even more closely together.

The Chinese carrier's predictions for the future 5G landscape include super-broadband wireless connectivity, instant access to real-time applications and information covering large swaths of everyday life and work, and intelligent inventions that combine the best aspects of cellular and wireless networks -- as well as providing us with 3D technology.

According to ZTE's white paper, "5G -- Driving the Convergence of the Physical and Digital Worlds," we can expect 5G to prompt "seamless interactions between people, as well as human-machine connectivity, creating a new digital ecosystem in which any connected person or machine could be the originator, and consumer of information, driving accelerated growth in network traffic." In order to cope with the data-hungry demands of 5G, networks will become more intelligent, user-friendly, scaleable and versatile.

"5G will be a key catalyst in driving the convergence of networks, services and devices, opening up new possibilities for users and organizations," said Dr. Zhao Xianming, of ZTE. "To deliver the best user experience for future 5G services, the telecommunications industry needs to collaborate with other industry verticals in order to develop an in-depth understanding of how 5G can serve the needs of different sectors of the economy."

ZTE's ideas may not be far-fetched. This week, Google revealed Project Tango, a prototype smartphone complete with real-time 3D mapping technology and sensors that allow the device to detect and recreate its physical environment. 

ZTE's white paper can be downloaded here (.pdf). 

Image credit: Flickr 

— By on February 21, 2014, 6:16 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure