The Case for 5G: Towards an Internet of Skills and a World of Synchronised Reality

Person wearing virtual reality (VR) headset or head-mounted display (HMD) glasses to interact with financial dashboard with stock market key performance indicators (KPI) and business intelligence (BI)

By Maria Lema and Mischa Dohler

Mobile Systems have become commodity and this article thus examines the timely question of what 5G can deliver in terms of extra value. We argue that, based on fundamental trends, some exciting technology transformations will happen with 5G. These will enable a new Internet, and the Internet of Skills.


Trends in Wireless Communications and Digital

Mobile communications has started as a niche technology but quickly evolved into a fully-functioning mobile Internet with global coverage. 4G is now so performant that consumers often forget about being connected wirelessly: the experience is virtually the same as when behind a desktop computer.

With 2G, 3G and 4G generations of mobile now deployed globally, the technology is starting to become commodity and is naturally experiencing market pressure underpinned by shrinking margins and higher deployment costs. It is hence timely to pose the question on the future of mobile, notably the role and value of 5G.

Technology disruption is tightly coupled to innovation. We thus examine required changes in the technology and innovation landscape to enable such a transformation. This in turn impacts finances, business models and value chains in mobile and digital at large.

These insights are constructed on solid observations of trends in mobile. Indeed, years of developments in wireless communications, deployment and usage allow us to draw the following two fundamental trends:1

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About the Authors

Dr. Maria A. Lema is leading the 5G UK Testbeds and Trials project at King’s College London, coordinating all technical activities for the deployment of the 5G testbed in London. Most of her research in this area has been focused on designing end to end utra-reliable low latency 5G networks in the context of the Internet of Skills.

Mischa Dohler is full Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, driving cross-disciplinary research and innovation in technology, sciences and arts. He is the Director of the Centre for Telecommunications Research, Co-Founder of the pioneering smart city company Worldsensing, Fellow of the IEEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), and a Distinguished Member of Harvard Square Leaders Excellence.


1. M. Dohler, T. Mahmoodi, M.A. Lema, M. Condoluci, F. Sardis, K. Antonakoglou, A.H. Aghvami, “Internet of Skills, where Robotics meets AI, 5G and the Tactile Internet”, EuCNC 2017, Oulu, Finland.

2. M Dohler, R.W. Heath Jr., A. Lozano, C. Papadias, R.A. Valenzuela, “Is the PHY Layer Dead?”, IEEE Communications Magazine, vol 49, issue 4, April 2011, pp 159-165.

3. M.A. Lema, E. Pardo, O. Galinina, S. Andreev, Mischa Dohler, “Flexible Dual-Connectivity Spectrum Aggregation for Decoupled Uplink and Downlink Access in 5G Heterogeneous Systems”, IEEE JSAC, in press.

4. M. Dohler, et al, “Internet of Skills, Where Robotics Meets AI, 5G and the Tactile Internet”, EuCNC 2017, Oulu, Finland.

5. The term “Synchronised Reality” was coined in a conversation between Samantha Hemingway (Hemingway Media) and Mischa Dohler whilst discussing the ultra-low latency 5G capabilities.

6. For a full exploration of all these 5G use cases, please, visit


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