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Post written by:

Carole Manero

Director of Studies

The pandemic will clearly have sizeable repercussions on the 5G ecosystem in the short term (postponed spectrum auctions, delayed commercial launches and deployments, economic impact, etc.). At the same time, however, it has also revealed the essence of 5G’s role, and the many benefits this new technology can bring to several specific sectors, such as health, media, education, transport and retail sales.

A host of 5G applications helped mitigate the pandemic

  • Health

Elle figure parmi l’un des principaux cas d’exploitation de la 5G et s’est avérée parfaitement opportune pour faire face au Coronavirus. De nombreux pays ont utilisé la télémédecine et fait appel aux téléconsultations pour freiner la pandémie. La 5G aide les médecins et les patients à rester connectés : les premiers peuvent proposer des téléconsultations et établir des diagnostics précis grâce à des robots connectés 5G dotés d’une série de capteurs pour mesurer la température du corps, ou encore capturer des images ou des vidéos. Ils utilisent également des systèmes à imagerie thermique, des rayons X portables ainsi que des solutions à ultrasons.

Cette approche implique le recours à la vidéo très haut débit, à la réalité virtuelle et augmentée en temps réel, besoin auquel peut répondre la 5G grâce à sa faible latence, son très haut débit et sa très haute capacité. Les réseaux cellulaires et l’Internet des objets peuvent contribuer au contrôle, au suivi, à la détection et à la prévention de la maladie Covid-19.

Spotlight on 5G applications used in hospitals during the peak of the epidemic

The Wuhan and Tianyou Union Hospitals, which are affiliated with the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, made use of intelligent 5G robots supplied by China Mobile and the firm CloudMinds. These robots care for patients suffering from Covid-19: they can take their temperature, disinfect the premises, distribute medication, serve meals and even self-disinfect.


  • Media

The ultrafast pace of data processing and low latency supplied by 5G enables live broadcasting and streaming in 4K or 8K HD, and even the use of augmented and virtual reality in affected areas. 5G also enables video transmission to a host of devices and cameras, and made it possible to hold live press conferences regarding the handling of the epidemic in Hubei province.

  • Education

With the distant learning classes put into place in a great many countries, 5G enabled high quality video transmissions and immersive classes using augmented and virtual reality. China Mobile in particular is heavily involved in developing telelearning solutions.

  • Transport

5G is also extremely useful for collecting information on vehicles in real time, and for monitoring connected vehicles. It also a crucial part of the process of transporting patients with serious conditions.

  • Retail

We all had to cope with the effects of panic buying in shops, and disruptions of the logistics chain due to Covid-19. Increased use of 5G, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence could be particularly useful in preventing food shortages in certain areas.

The pandemic thus confirmed the many merits of 5G in a number of countries

5G could create the ability to better cope with a future crisis of this kind. As soon as the lockdowns were first announced, every activity that could be performed remotely moved to the Web. The health crisis thus confirmed potential applications for 5G that had already been in the works. It proved how vital connectivity and network coverage are to every aspect of our daily lives, helping to offset the social distancing measures enforced during the lockdown.