Transforming our lives at high speed

5G networks are going to connect everything, everywhere

    

The next generation of mobile network is going to revolutionize our world. It will enable traffic lights to interact with cars and cell phones to talk to gadgets in our homes – but this futuristic vision will only be possible with game-changing innovations for transmitting and processing data. That’s why pioneering companies are exploring cutting-edge solutions to bring the fully connected world to life.

The fifth generation of mobile network – known as 5G – will transmit data up to 100 times faster than existing 4G networks. It will handle 100 times more data and make it possible to download a full-length movie in just three seconds. When 5G goes mainstream, nothing will ever be the same again. And it’s nearly here.

In Asia-Pacific, 5G will bring about countless opportunities to generate business growth and support digital transformation initiatives. That’s why companies and governments are doing everything they can to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that full connectivity is going to open.

In Australia, 5G networks have already been rolled out from telecommunication providers in the form of mobile, portable hotspot and home broadband services. Over in New Zealand, trials in Auckland are integrating 5G network, radio, cloud-native core and design services.

Next stop: Connected Cities and Factories

Turbo-charged mobile internet networks will affect every market and industry around the world – but the most immediate impact will be in the telecommunications sector. Supersonic 5G speeds will completely change the way people use the internet. Wider, faster and more stable coverage will lead to completely new shared experiences by enabling tens of thousands of people to access rapid mobile internet from the same place at the same time.

It will empower cities to combine data from sensors in the streetlights with images from cameras mounted in flying drones to optimize traffic flows, while self-driving cars will use 5G to turn on the lights and heating in smart homes as they approach their destination. And the entire system will perform real-time maintenance to ensure efficiency and safety.

By enabling round-the-clock updates and improvements, 5G presents opportunities for companies to adopt advanced manufacturing approaches. Factories will utilise more sensors, cameras, drones and robots to increase efficiency and quality. Connecting the entire value chain – from raw materials through to waste disposal or recycling – will generate data that can be used to identify potential improvements.

Making the miracle possible

For 5G network to facilitate constant and uninterrupted connection, the cars, factory equipment and consumer devices will need to integrate more modules and components within increasingly small spaces. Compact camera modules, for example, are often the best way to collect data that can steer self-driving cars or enable automated manufacturing processes. But because camera modules are made from many layers, they would be too big to fit if they were assembled using screws or traditional adhesives. That’s why Henkel has developed an ultra-thin adhesive that enables the miniaturization of camera modules. This will have a major impact on the 5G world – because it’s estimated that production of mini-camera modules will double in the next two years, from 5 billion per year up to 10 billion by 2020.

Alongside these camera modules, 5G-ready devices and equipment will also offer an increasing range of other functions like GPS or motion sensors. But these functions require additional components to be squeezed into cramped space – and all components generate heat when they are used. This heat needs to be managed effectively to avoid damage to the device or harm to users. Device manufacturers and telecommunications companies are reaching out to Henkel to help turn this challenge into an opportunity. Our thermal management products help to optimize the efficiency of electronic components while also extending their working life. Our gap pads, for example, quickly remove and redistribute heat to prevent critical parts from overheating.
         

More power, more towers

And it’s not just devices that need to stay cool. Memory chips in the giant server centers that will process and store the mountain of data generated by 5G also need to be super reliable. Servers will need to process massive volumes of data and store vast libraries within increasingly compact spaces. Innovative new designs have been created to enable memory chips to meet this challenge – thanks to a Henkel technology that enables the production of memory chips that feature 12 ultra-thin layers. These layers are interconnected, and Henkel has developed special underfill materials that protect the points where they join together to make sure this architecture is able to perform safely, reliably and efficiently.

On top of this huge increase in data storage and processing power, more and more cell towers will be needed to pick up and transmit data in order to make the 5G dream a reality. In fact, it’s predicted that 20 million new cell towers will be installed around the world by 2025. These cell towers include base stations where all electronic signals converge. Henkel offers thermally conductive materials to dissipate heat away from the processor, as well as underfill encapsulations to protect it against vibration, and coatings that stop moisture and dust from damaging the circuit board.

The 5G future is now

It may seem like something from a science-fiction film, but we’re now moments away from a new era where everyone and everything on the planet is constantly connected. In fact, experts predict that 5G networks will be up-and-running by the middle of the next decade. 5G is going to revolutionize lives and transform industries by opening incredible opportunities to increase efficiency and develop radical new business models. It’s nearly here. And nothing will ever be the same again.