Despite having no immediate business gain, the mobile network operators of Bangladesh have come forward with enthusiasm in introducing a new generation of technology for their valued customers. They have done so for the sheer reason of supporting the government’s vision for digitizing the country.
Our government has come a long way in terms of materializing its vision of a digital nation. It has started digitizing all processes of the government such as implementing NID and passport digitization, promoting mobile financial services and payment gateway, setting up a one-stop service centre, transforming the ticketing in the entire transport industry, and setting up high-tech parks to get the country ready for the fourth industrial revolution.
This scenario speaks of massive advancement on the way to digital era.
Having presented the above scenario, we must also ask the questions: Why 4G and what’s in it for the people in general?
Those who have been facing difficulties in video-calling and video streaming, their experience will change completely. In the coverage areas and with a 4G-enabled handset and a 4G-compatible SIM, they would be able to embark on a totally new experience of the internet world.
The high-speed era would be upon us, opening the door to the IoT (internet of things), the impact of which we are yet to imagine. This is an era when technology will revolutionize various aspects of our life and lifestyle.
This would pave the way to create tech-based smart cities, smart homes, smart factories, smart schools, colleges and universities, and smart health care. The 4G era is an essential step for the next-generation of business people who are expected to change business as we know it. The advent of the internet, over the years, has changed the business arena for good.
The scenario of the true digital age would be quite different than what we have seen so far. Bangladesh may have come a long way with its digital vision, but the introduction of 4G would take the country further
Live, work, play, connect
With the development of the internet, new businesses have arrived of which we never had known before. The introduction 4G would also bring about similar changes, changes we have yet to discover.
Our homes, workplaces, factories, educational institutions, and transports would be swarmed with internet-based sensors which would bring forth a truly connected society. Everybody would be connected.
It will change the way we communicate, live, work, play, or connect to each other.
In the sports arena, athletes and players will be able to analyze their own behaviour for further optimization.
In our factories, self-propelled equipment will be used for delivering goods and parcels.
The IoT will allow vehicles to connect to hospitals in case of accidents or will help provide warnings to drivers. IoT will also create smart clothes which alert users if they sit with the wrong posture.
One of the most visible impacts would be experienced in the health care sector. Once the health care providers start taking advantage of this connectivity, they would be able to monitor the patients in real time and that would significantly lower expenses.
Technology would pave the way for advanced home care facilities.
When they can monitor the patients in real time, they can have proper data, and diseases may be treated before they get worse. Accurate data would also create an atmosphere of error-free treatment. There would be many wearables and IoT-enabled devices that would keep us informed about our well-being and possible diseases. The hospitals will start encouraging their patients to bring their own devices into the hospital room, clinicians will be armed with better knowledge through IoT-enabled apps and trackers, and patients can enjoy the comforts of their home through on-demand entertainment and customizable room layouts.
A prediction last year by Ericsson forecasted that, by 2023, there will be over 30 billion connected devices, of which around 20 billion will be related to the IoT. Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sale terminals, consumer electronics, and wearables.
Between 2017 and 2023, the report said, connected IoT devices are expected to increase at a rate of 19%, driven by new use cases and affordability.
The scenario of the true digital age would be quite different than what we have seen so far. Bangladesh may have come a long way with its digital vision, but the introduction of 4G would take the country further. In terms of its economy, it is likely to take a leap towards becoming a middle-income nation.
However, with all the changes, the security aspect of this connected economy and lifestyle would also become vital. We haven’t been talking about our security in the high-speed world as much as we have been talking about digitizing ourselves.
All those devices that would drive our life will have to be made secured. With this new beginning, the nature and style of crimes would also change, and they may be more dangerous than we’re experiencing today in the cyber world.
As we get ready for a new era of internet possibilities, we must also, at the same time, talk about security, because without secured IoT devices, we won’t be able to enjoy the benefits.
Ekram Kabir is a story-teller and a columnist.