News Feature

The Week in 5G: 8/26/21 — GM To Outfit Cars With 5G In 2024, Aussie Govt. Doles Out 5G Funds

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By Abby Proch, former editor


Qualcomm introduced what it claims is the first 5G- and AI-enabled drone on its Flight RB5 5G Platform. AI-enabled 5G drones have the potential to serve not only applications in security, defense, inspection, and mapping, but to revolutionize the sports fan experience. At Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams game on Aug. 12, sweeping views of the ballfield and surrounding cornfields were provided by this technology.  

In an interview with SportTechie, Qualcomm GM of Autonomous Robotics, Drones and Intelligent Machines Dev Singh teased the possibility of putting a drone in amateurs' hands. His example? A parent donning specialized glasses could command the drone  to follow his or her child around the field or down the pitch for a personalized perspective of the game.

In automotive news, General Motors (GM) has announced certain 2024 model year vehicles will have 5G connectivity. 5G means faster music and video downloads, software updates, and navigation, mapping and voice services, according to the GM press release. Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC model years 2019 and newer will also see improved speeds to their 4G LTE services thanks to the updated network, says GM.

Down Under, the Australian government awarded $14.5 million in 5G grants for counting sheep, inspecting meat and mobilizing firefighting tanks, among other uses, reports ZDNet. The Australian government will fund 19 5G projects across the country, including a $1.1 million allocation for TPG Telecomm to use 4K video to count sheep and send the counts, via tablets and mobile device, to farmers. Australian Meat Processor Corporation plans to use its share to bolster its inspection process with machine learning and cameras that supplement human-led inspection. Both cases illustrate the power of 5G to support and refine tasks that are prone to human error.

Rheinmetall Defense Australia says its allocation will be used to outfit a remote-control tank capable of “traversing extremely dangerous terrains to support rescue, path clearing and firefighting missions,” according to the Australian government.

Meanwhile, Finnish telecom provider Nokia is again expanding its 5G reach as it supports A1 Telekom Austria Group’s rollout of 5G services across Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovenia. All three nations are slated to implement 5G RAN services out of Nokia's AirScale portfolio over the next five years. The move will allow A1 to minimize operating costs and explore network slicing, among other newfound capabilities, according to a press release.

In Africa, Nigeria is inching closer to deploying a 5G network, according to a report by The Guardian. Federal Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Pantami announced the country’s policy on 5G is 95 percent complete, following a delay caused by conspiracy theories linking 5G technology and COVID-19 cases. Pantami said he understands people are “scared and skeptical,” but cited the World Health Organization's (WHO) findings that no link exists between the two. The next step is presenting the policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Finally, LG claims to have successfully transmitted and received data over  a distance of 100 meters on 6G. On Aug. 13, LG relied on its own power amplifier to generate stable output and used adaptive beamforming technology and high gain antenna switching to bridge the gap between the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and the Berlin Institute of Technology in Germany, states a company press release.