The coronavirus pandemic not only brought down the global economy , but also stimulated some high-tech industries – 5G mobile networks , robotics , cloud data systems and artificial intelligence. Some data in this area was shared by the Chinese company Huawei.
During the pandemic, network traffic around the world increased sharply – only by 40% in the first week, which is not surprising – people began to hang on the Internet in self-isolation. The time schedule for loading networks has also changed. The usual peak at 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. was added at 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. , with the main peak in the morning hours – thanks to distance education.
The second peak is in remote workers. For example, in China, 200 million students study and another 200 million work online. According to China Mobile, traffic in distance education has grown eight times. The epidemic also affected the geographical dynamics of traffic – in business districts it fell by 59%, but grew by 32% in residential areas compared to 2019.
With the abolition of quarantine, traffic will decrease, but it will not be the same, this can be seen from statistics from those areas of China that have returned to normal life. At the peak time of the closure of Chinese cities, traffic grew 1.8 times, but after the opening of cities it still remained 30% -40% higher than before the pandemic.
Until now, killer-application for 5G networks has not appeared in the world. The need to switch to a new format was associated with the spread of unmanned vehicles. But it turned out that in the context of the rapid construction of new infectious hospital buildings, only 5G networks can quickly provide the necessary speed and coverage. So, in two new hospitals in Wuhan, 5G networks were deployed in just 72 hours, and in just seven provinces, 1951 new base stations were installed at the same time.
During the pandemic, new technologies appeared in Chinese hospitals: intelligent robots that collected throat swabs; artificial intelligence-controlled systems for remote temperature measurement; interdepartmental cloud platforms for monitoring and managing the fight against the epidemic; diagnostic systems using artificial intelligence, providing a complete decryption of computed tomography of the lungs with visualization in seconds. All this required high-speed Internet access without delay, which only 5G networks could provide in new hospitals.
Robots in hospitals
Other consumers of the gigantic data sets were transport and medical robots, which during the epidemic began to appear in large numbers in the hospitals of Hubei, Sih, and Jinting. For example, robots for conducting epidemiological control with the functions of remote temperature measurement, disinfection and spraying, which required an upstream channel bandwidth of 30 Mbit / s with a delay of not more than 200 ms. It is clear that in such a compact time it was not possible to develop them from scratch – alteration of patrol robots went into business. There are cheaper analogues with disinfection functions only.
There appeared in the corridors of hospitals and transport robots carrying drugs and food. In some cities, unmanned vehicles were allowed to deliver food to medical personnel. All these robots and drones could not function without 5G networks.
It is clear that these new robots did not play an important role in the fight against the pandemic (unlike powerful information networks with support for artificial intelligence), but investments in these technologies during the pandemic gave a powerful impetus to their development.
Moreover, they are not going to curtail investments, but on the contrary: the New Infrastructure program adopted in China provides for seven main sectors for accelerated development with powerful support from the state: 5G networks, industrial Internet, high-speed intercity transportation, data processing centers, and artificial intelligence systems , high-voltage power and high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles. The total budget for these programs will be 17 trillion yuan ($ 2.4 trillion).
“Investing in the future is never too early and will continue despite the pandemic dying out”