Date
12 December 2018
Hong Kong needs to adopt 5G mobile technology at the earliest possible time to realize its dream of becoming a smart city. Photo: Reuters
Hong Kong needs to adopt 5G mobile technology at the earliest possible time to realize its dream of becoming a smart city. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong needs earlier 5G adoption to promote IoT development

Media reports indicate that Hong Kong is stepping up the development of smart streetlights in the territory. Let’s take this opportunity to talk about the relationship between 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT can connect almost everything, from smart cars and smart street lamps to refrigerators and air conditioners. All these devices can receive radio frequency, and IoT enables them to interact with each other and generate, exchange and process data automatically. It’s widely expected that the number of these smart devices would explode in the future.

There are numerous technologies that support IoT. The low power, wide-area network (LPWAN) is one of them. Examples of this technology are Sigfox and LoRa. The smart streetlights under development largely deploy this technology.

However, LPWAN is not compatible with 3G and 4G standards, and it does not offer the benefits of 5G, which include high speed, high capacity and low latency.

The 5G network is the essence of IoT. If Hong Kong wants to become a smart city, if we don’t want our IoT development to lag behind, the government should seriously consider holding an auction of the 3.5GHz band for 5G mobile technology earlier.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 11

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman

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