The first 6 cities in the UK to receive the faster 5G network have been named.  London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester will all benefit from 5G by the middle of 2019.  

With the risk of sounding old, the last launch of something new and exciting with a 5 in it was Channel 5 and that only seems like yesterday. Maybe that is why I probably fall into the 'digital immigrant' camp as opposed to the 'digital native' one that I recently learned about in a great post from Tim Barbour of ForgeRock around the very same 5G topic.  

Not just because I was born before 1985 ish (the official cutoff for a digital native) but also because I have been slow to adopt the new technologies available.  I am of course rectifying this now by embracing blogging, Linkedin and Twitter as I strive to become a Digital Native!  The worrying thing is that my parents are also trying to do the same thing albeit in-between fighting incontinence and losing their online passwords for everything!  Back to Tim's article though and  there were two points that really stood out in the context of today's news:

  • Companies can also be digital natives or immigrants. With great examples of natives being Amazon, Google and Apple.
  • The majority of Telco's that are delivering the new 5G services are often the latter and haven't as yet, harnessed the data at their disposal to become trusted identity providers.

In essence, Amazon, Google and Apple all know who we are down to a personal level when we identify ourselves online but our broadband and mobile phone providers don't.  As Tim rightly state's  when talking about the imminent arrival of 5G, 'telecoms network operators have the opportunity to become trusted identity providers not just as custodians of individuals’ identities, but also for their devices and connected things in the platform-based IoT ecosystems that they underpin.'  Using the correct tools combined with the data available to them, then this can be achieved.

If my parents can embrace the age of digital then anyone can.  Selfishly though, I really hope they haven't saved their will's to the cloud- where on earth will I find the passwords?