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William Crockett, vice president of Tanaka Precious Metals, discusses how the rollout of 5G connectivity promises to affect business and supply chain operations.
The progress of 5G is accelerating in the second half of 2021, Crockett says. To some extent, it’s been helped along by the large numbers of consumer working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, placing ever-greater demands on bandwidth.
The advantages of speedier downloads and improved access to the internet are evident from a consumer perspective, but supply chains will also benefit from 5G, Crockett says. The technology becomes increasingly important as automotive manufacturers incorporate more mobile systems and applications into their vehicles. That allows for faster transmission of data that’s essential to the running of businesses.
5G is also poised to play a major role in the creation of smart cities, allowing for connectivity of all manner of devices and equipment, including in stoplights, traffic information services, parking garages and emergency vehicles.
The technology raises fresh issues of privacy, both from an individual and corporate perspective. The need to protect intellectual property and proprietary data “opens up a whole new market for security in 5G,” Crockett says.
The 5G rollout could be slowed or stalled by the current shortage of microchips, especially in the automotive sector. “It’s a big issue right now,” says Crockett, noting that some analysts are predicting that the problem will persist into 2023 or even 2024.
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