5G | Emerging Trends
July 12, 2017

Why the world needs 5G

By Houlin Zhao

Fifth-generation “IMT-2020” technology (5G) is coming fast, and it will have great power to transform our lives for the better.

Better health care, smarter cities, vastly more efficient manufacturing are all being made possible as the “Internet of Things” era gathers pace with an array of innovative solutions that are powering our modern economy. But none of these things can reach their full potential without 5G networks. Indeed, smart 5G systems will soon be essential to meet the data-intensive demands of billions of people who are using ever-growing amounts of video daily.

5G will bring much faster data speeds, reliable connectivity and low latency to international mobile telecommunications (IMT) — all needed for our new global communications ecosystem of connected devices sending vast amounts of data via ultra-fast broadband.

This edition of ITU News will lay out what 5G is — why it carries such promise — and how to make such complex systems a reality.

“5G is coming fast, and it will have great power to transform our lives for the better.” – Houlin Zhao

There is a great opportunity in these early stages of 5G development to apply the lessons of past experiences building 3G and 4G/LTE systems. These pages will outline ITU’s role in adopting the globally harmonized spectrum and standards that will facilitate the development and implementation of 5G. This edition of ITU News will also offer solution-oriented insights from a range of thought leaders on key aspects of 5G, such as network slicing, Information-Centric Networking (ICN), and open source projects — among many others. Please read on to learn more about 5G, the backbone of tomorrow’s digital economy.

Houlin Zhao (@ITUSecGen) was elected 19th Secretary-General of the ITU at the Busan Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2014. He took up his post on 1 January, 2015. Prior to his election, he served two terms of office as ITU Deputy Secretary-General (2007-2014), as well as two terms as elected Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (1999-2006). He is committed to further streamlining ITU’s efficiency, to strengthening its membership base through greater involvement of the academic community and of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to broadening multistakeholder participation in ITU’s work. He is married with one son and two grandchildren.
[Read the ITU News Magazine to learn more about the transformative potential of 5G — and how ITU is helping to make it happen.]
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