The 2018 Olympic Winter Games offer a chance for sports enthusiasts across the globe to watch the best athletes in the world showcase their talents in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This year, wireless companies are competing as well, using the Olympic Games to debut plans for the first public test of 5G wireless technology, according to a blog from Nikhil Adnani, CTO at thinkRF. The South Korean government identified Information and Communications Technology as one of its chief goals for the Winter Games, and demonstrations from several companies will show the public what it can expect from 5G technology, Ultra-HD broadcasting, Internet of Things, and virtual and augmented reality systems.
South Korean company KT Corp is the official sponsor of the Olympic Winter Games and will be prominent in 5G demonstrations, but competitors SK Telecom and LG U+ will be presenting as well. According to Adnani, the companies have been secretive about specific plans for their demonstrations, but the 5G experience at the Games is expected to allow data transmission at 20 times faster than 4G, with Ultra-HD broadcasts that offer four times the screen resolution of current broadcasts.
5G technology will be essential for advances in autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality systems going forward, though 5G-compatible devices are not likely to be available to consumers in 2019, according to Adnani. Once rolled out, 5G will use a frequency spectrum of 28 GHz and higher, offering much greater bandwidth than conventional channels below 6 GHz.
Competition between telecom companies during the Olympic Winter Games is sure to offer a tantalizing glimpse into the future of cellular technology, giving spectators a chance to feel like they have a front-row seat to the Games, whether they are watching from Pyeongchang or Pittsburgh.