5G could widen the gap between haves and have-nots
With 5G, the possibilities are the things we see in science fiction. We imagine our lives inside our seamlessly connected smart homes, with autonomous cars to take us to work and the speediest, most reliable internet connectivity ensuring that our streaming video never buffers.
After all, 5G has been hailed as the advent of the fourth industrial revolution. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf called it the biggest thing since electricity.
That’s great for people living in societies that will have access to 5G technologies, but what about those that don’t?
For all the hype and potential benefits that stem from 5G, there are few parts of the world that will actually see deployments in the next few years. Other countries are still moving to 4G, or even struggling to offer any level of internet connectivity. The Alliance for Affordable Internet’s (A4AI) 2017 affordability report found that only 19 countries can say they have affordable internet. Overall, the digital divide between rich and poor was found only to be widening. A new set of advantages for the connected only look set to leave the unconnected even further behind.