5G will power more driverless cars, smarter cities and immersive video

Cisco's Annual Internet Report forecasts where the online world is going by 2023.

The world will continue to feel a little smaller, with 66 percent of people projected to have access to internet connections by 2023, meaning 5.3 billion people are ostensibly one click away, new research from Cisco shows.

In the United States, Cisco put internet market penetration at 90 percent in 2018 and projected it would inch to 92 percent by 2023. 

Every year, the technology giant, based in San Jose, Calif., releases a report about internet usage and trends. This year’s Cisco Annual Internet Report projects that 10 percent of mobile connections will be 5G. 

These higher speeds—5G is estimated to be around 13 times faster than today’s average cellular speed—will allow for more dynamic infrastructures that will, in turn, enable more vibrant applications of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT)

What the rollout of 5G will mean for the average person’s day-to-day by 2023, Cisco projects, are more driverless vehicles, growth for smart cities, municipalities that use sensors and IoT applications to manage infrastructure, such as changing traffic light times to respond to changing volume. 

Other things consumers will see more of include connected health, where people consult with their local doctor or specialist over video and immersive video.

In recent years, marketers from Mercedes to Sephora, have embraced immersive video experiences, bringing consumers test drives in scenic locations and makeovers that they manipulate themselves.  

In North America, Cisco estimated there will be 3.3 mobile devices/connections per person compared to 1.7 per person in 2018. 

These devices will carry some 300 billion mobile app downloads by 2023, according to the report, with social networking, video streaming, e-commerce and gaming commanding free time. 

"What we are seeing from our research is a continuous rise in internet users, devices, connections, and more demand on the network than we could have imagined," said Roland Acra, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Cisco, in a statement.

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