5G Is Going To Disrupt Many Industries, Here Are Some Of Them

As you may know by now, 5G is the next-gen (or is now the current gen?) of wireless tech which is expected to offer new consumer and business with near real-time connectivity.

For the last decade (half a decade for us in Zim) the rest of the world has enjoyed 4G connection and with these connections it’s become easier to use applications like Netflix, Uber (Vaya/Hwindi in our context) but now there’s need to make connections beefier as 4G won’t cut it for the IoT revolution that is on the horizon.

CB Insights expects the deployment of 5G (which began in late 2018) to take close to a decade. This is not to say there aren’t many industries that will be heavily impacted by 5G.


In fact 5G is heavily expected to disrupt many industries because of the following reasons:

  1. 5G’s lower latency allows faster transmission of larger data streams;
  2. 5G is more reliable than 4G which enables transmission of data in extreme conditions;
  3. 5G is more flexible than WiFi and will be able to support more devices.

Here are some of the industries that CB Insights expects 5G to disrupt:


In more developed countries, the healthcare industry is trending towards preventative measures of healthcare and this is one of the reasons why wearables are growing in popularity.

These devices are expected to revolutionise everything; from tracking our sleep, heart rates, glucose levels and physical activity levels and if there’s one thing that we were all taught; it’s that prevention is better than cure.

On a more advanced level, CBS Insights gives a perfect illustration of how 5G will revolutionise health in ways we couldn’t imagine years ago;

Today, for example, recovering stroke patients for whom repeated
hospital visits are a burden often suffer from a lack of home
monitoring and care. New kinds of wearables that track patients
around their daily lives — not possible today with 4G — could allow
for such patients to get more personalized monitoring and care
without having to visit a hospital.


5G is also expected to revolutionise the way we shop and the way shops collect data on their customers.

There’s been development of “smart shelves” and these work in a pretty fascinating way:

shelves equipped with sensors could determine low stock on a product, ping a distribution center to restock its inventory, and dynamically monitor the progress of that shipment.

CB Insights

That’s pretty cool if you’re asking me. But that’s not all. Apparently, there is a company using virtual “try-on” technology help customers see what a particular makeup would look like on them before purchasing. This is a great addition to the shopping experience but the product is said to be held back by data streaming limits.


The manufacturing industry is also going to go through some interesting shifts in the coming years.

Ericsson is already testing augmented reality (AR) troubleshooting in one of its factories. This allows technicians to use an AR application to identify parts that need maintenance whilst pulling up instructions all within their field of view. That sounds like something we only used to see in the movies but it’s already being tested out.

When will this become available in Zim??

The fortunate thing about network dependent technology is that we don’t necessarily have to go through the same process that the pioneers of this technology are going through. The benefit of technology is that most of these are things you can develop thus the deployment of 5G will just be an initial step.

We can expect 5G in Zimbabwe around 2021-22 if we are judging by the time it took 4G to get here. 4G began deployment in late 2009 and only got here in 2013.

However, in some ways there are many citizens who are already at the cutting edge of these trends. For instance, how many people have you seen wearing a smartwatch or fitness band. Though they aren’t connected to 5G yet, they can still access many advanced health features that are being accessed by other citizens in the first or developed world thus we will benefit from some of these trends before 5G infrastructure is even laid out.

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