Surprisingly enough, I get the question very often, ‘What does the G stand for?’ So, first of all, the ‘G’ stands for ‘generation.’ 5G represents the fifth generation of wireless technology for cell networks.
For the first few years, the transition to 5G won’t change your life much. The changes will accelerate and grow in scale as the infrastructure becomes more widely spread and the technology more developed. Within a decade or two, life could be so different with 5G and its successors that the present day might seem like the dark ages.
In China, ASEAN countries and Malaysia, you will see 5G rolled out in most often in locations that already have advantages. More densely populated, wealthier areas and those will large populations of professional office workers will have a much faster roll out of 5G infrastructure and network services than will other locations. The countries with the biggest 5G network are likely to be China, the US, Japan, and South Korea. The US and China are both expected to invest about US$25 billion per year on their wireless networks each year for the next decade.
National governments know that, if they don’t roll out 5G, they will get left behind in the next economic revolution.
China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, just about every country in the APAC region wants to roll out 5G as quickly as possible.
The uneven distribution of 5G and later generations of technology is likely to accentuate the digital divide and create new divisions within cities and nations.
Ultrafast 5G will tend to increase property values where it is present and to make property in other parts of the same city or country less desirable.
You can imagine the technology and value divide increasing over time as the services that rely on the fast connections increase in sophistication.
The Economist predicts that by 2025 only about 12 per cent of wireless connections will be 5G.
5G can be so fast that you could download an entire Hollywood movie onto your phone in just a few seconds.
Its responsiveness and speed will enable you to network almost everything about your home.
In the 5G world, your refrigerator, microwave, security camera, electrical system, climate control, and just about everything else can be linked to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and create new services for you at home. You know what they say, that the future is already here but just unevenly distributed. The same is true of the rollout of 5G.
The rollout has already started, but not everywhere. In the United States, for example, you can now get ultra-fast 5G services in NFL football stadiums but probably not in your apartment building or house.
It is too soon to know exactly how people will adjust to this new technology and what other impacts it will have on the real estate market.
For example, with fast 5G service, you might have the ability to put on VR goggles and virtually work alongside your colleagues from other locations. Will that make it more likely that you will telecommute from an idyllic country setting? Or will it tend to push you towards living in one of the big cities where the most innovative companies are based. We don’t have all the answers yet, but we do know big changes are coming.
The biggest impact I foresee from the rollout stems from the fact that some places will get it and others won’t. Some locations may never get the ultrafast service, while others already have it. Access will affect property values and lifestyle choices.
Would you pay more to live in locations with ultra-fast 5G service? I’m sure many people will.
Services and conveniences will become available in 5G areas that aren’t possible in other locations.
Smart cities will use 5G as their basic infrastructure. 5G will help make possible self-driving cars and even networks of vertical takeoff and landing air taxis, also known as flying cars.
Areas without the service will be stuck in the past.