''5G network will dramatically change our economy''

The president played virtual football, looked at the world from another angle and praised new technologies during the 5G pilot zone opening

''5G network will dramatically change our economy'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

A 5G network pilot zone was launched in Innopolis on 21 May. Now developers can not only generate an idea to create a new product using the 5G network but also test their brainchild on a specially designed platform. In experts' opinion, this ''small step'' will speed up both the commercialisation of 5G networks and the transition of Russian to the digital economy. To demonstrate all amenities of the very reliable connection with low latency as well as a record data transmission speed, high-ranking guests of the event and journalists were offered to play virtual football, watch a transmission of a 4K resolution streaming video and test the live in a 360 ° VR helmet. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

''It's a small project but a giant leap of Russia forward''

A 5G network pilot zone was launched in Innopolis by Rostelecom PJSC, Tattelecom PJSC, Huawei and the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of Tatarstan. Rostelecom provided a frequency, Tattelecom provided infrastructure for the test (optic communication channels, cable laying, poles), while Huawei supplied broadband wireless access with 5G elements (Massive MIMO) to the pilot zone. It should be noted that director of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseyevsky, who was present at the opening, didn't announce the sum spent to launch the project – the speaker preferred to avoid a reply and said something like: ''The future is never free''.

''The famous phrase said when the person stepped onto the Mood was 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'. Nowadays our step determines our future, the future of the digital economy. We're launching the 5G network pilot zone, the network that will provide the possibility to create huge databases, collect information, develop Industrial Internet technologies. This will give resident companies a chance to test those solutions, products, services requiring such technologies here and in practice. The quicker we will start thinking, trying and offering, the quicker the 5G network will become our reality. It's a small project but a giant leap of Russia forward,'' Mikhail Oseyevsky opened the event.

''It's a small project but a giant leap of Russia forward,'' says Mikhail Oseyevsky

Let's make a remark: 5G is a new generation network whose record data transmission speed can reach 25 Gbit/s. In addition, a very reliable connection with low latency is provided. The new standard will become one of the core technologies in the digital economy and be used in the Internet of Things, smart cities, smart production, smart houses and other spheres. In general, 5G will become a platform to create new business models and general digitalisation of sectors.

''Mobile network dramatically changed our lives. And I assure the 5G network will dramatically change our economy, as it opens new horizons. Firstly, it's a high speed of data transmission. Secondly, it's a very low ping – average latency is almost on the edge of perception of the human brain. This technology allows to work with billions of sensors, which opens new horizons for the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet. This all gives a chance for new industries that will appear in the digital economy. It's all that refers to smart city systems, unmanned vehicles, the Industrial Internet of Things and entertainment industry (virtual and augmented realities),'' Rostelecom Vice-President Valery Yermakov described 5G's perspectives in detail.

''It's completely different possibilities''

During the opening of the pilot zone in Innopolis, the high-ranking guests and journalists were shown examples of the application of 5G networks in real life. Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and the pool of Tatarstan functionaries were first offered to watch the transmission of a streaming video in 4K and test the live transmission with a 360 ° camera in VR helmet.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and the pool of Tatarstan functionaries were first offered to watch the transmission of a streaming video in 4K and test the live transmission with a 360 ° camera in VR helmet

Usually, television transmission in a highly accurate resolution is provided thanks to optic fibre. However, 5G gives a chance to do it with wireless technologies. In the future, this case can be applied to identify faces in CCTV monitoring in a smart city. A live transmission with a 360 ° camera through 5G is able to create another perception of reality: you see the full picture – the review of the whole situation – almost without latency. This case can be used at least in entertainment, tourism, design and realty sale.

Rustam Minnikhanov was also offered to play virtual football. This platform was created to demonstrate the urgency and importance of the response time, which is minimal in 5G networks. He just saw a virtual version of what was happening: a green football pitch and the rival with the ball standing in front of him.

The president's rival was covered in sensors but played without a VR helmet. His task was to score a goal – in both realities. The most interesting thing begins here: with 50-millisecond latency, which is characteristic of the currently used networks, there is notable latency of what the ''goalkeeper'' sees in the VR helmet, from the impartial reality. If the operator of the virtual football platform sets a 1-millisecond delay (in 5G networks), real actions are almost perfectly synchronised with what we see in the VR helmet.

Rustam Minnikhanov just saw a virtual version of what was happening: a green football pitch and the rival with the ball standing in front of him

''Actually, it's completely different possibilities. And what we are talking about digitalisation today is impossible without such infrastructure. I tested the system in a small example: I compared how the existing networks transmitted data and how the 5G technology does it. All these smart machines can't work without this technology,'' the president shared his impressions.

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By Lina Sarimova. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan