If you had a 5G Internet connection, by the time you read this sentence, you could have downloaded every Harry Potter movie ever made. UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants you to remember that fact because he announced a deal with Germany to develop and roll out 5G Internet across the two nations.
Announced during Cameron’s keynote speech at the CeBIT 2014 trade fair in Hanover, Germany, the deal is a collaborative effort between the University of Dresden, King’s College University in London, and the University of Surrey.
According to Cameron, he wants the UK to be the most digital nation in the G8, with 5G a stepping stone in that direction. “This is a world on fast forward. A world of permanent technological revolution,” said Cameron. “And in this world, countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations.”
On 5G, you can download an 800MB, DVD-quality movie in one second. How’s that for innovation?
The British government will invest £73 million (roughly $121 million) to develop 5G, and the “Internet of Things (IoT).” And what is the Internet of Things? It’s the ever-expanding number of devices outside your phone and computer that are now connecting to the Net. Dish washers, fitness bands, car dashboards, cameras, refrigerators – you name it and someone is trying to make it “smart” or Internet enabled.
For example, say that it’s a warm day and you are returning home from your running routine. Your thermostat will know that it’s hot outside and, once it knows you’re in proximity by using information from your smartwatch, it will automatically turn on the air conditioning.
For Cameron, the IoT is worth investing due to its impact on daily life. “I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development – a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change.”
No exact time frame was given as to when the UK and Germany will roll out 5G, but Cameron is confident in the partnership: “Take British ingenuity in software, services and design, add German excellence in engineering and industrial manufacturing and together we can lead in this new revolution.”