Work on 5G technology at GE Research can benefit the community too

NISKAYUNA – There’s a lot of talk these days about 5G, the next-generation super-fast wireless network that the cell phone industry has been making for years to be a game-changer for its customers.

Mobile carriers have rolled out the new technology – which uses more bandwidth than previous networks, allowing faster speeds and the movement of larger amounts of data – as fast as they can, targeting first the major cities of the country for the most part.

So when GE Research in Niskayuna, the corporate research arm of General Electric Co., recently revealed plans to turn its campus into a 5G test site, it was a big deal.

Not only for GE, but also for its neighbors, “giving high-speed wireless access to more residents and visitors to Niskayuna,” according to the two companies.

GE Research’s 5G test bed will also bring what’s known as ‘Band 14’ wireless spectrum to Niskayuna, which the federal government uses for what’s called FirstNet, a wireless network specially created for first responders by Congress in 2012. The network was built by AT&T.

The main reason AT&T and GE are teaming up on the 5G test bed is to demonstrate how much 5G networks can improve on GE’s latest technology, especially healthcare.


There are actually two types of 5G that AT&T and other companies are rolling out. The type of garden variety is the so called 5G “sub-6” which is standard for now but is slower than the so called mmWave 5G which is much faster but requires more equipment to travel longer distances. AT&T calls it its 5G + network.

This faster 5G, which all cell phone companies are working on, means that a video conference with your doctor on your cell phone will be in HD and not be as glitchy as it is today. And you will be able to download 4K movies in seconds while playing online video games wherever you are.

While consumers will reap many benefits from ultra 5G, the biggest impact could be on the business sector, which will be able to invent whole new mobile technologies that will impact people’s lives across the board. the world.

Scientists at GE Research claim that the AT&T 5G testbed they use (they are also working with Verizon on a 5G testbed) helps them imagine technology that can do more with a faster network.

For example, it doesn’t matter where a patient is so doctors can access their vital signs or medical records, making care faster and more robust instead of relying on slow computers in the office.

“The power of reliable and robust sub-6 and 5G + networks will transform healthcare by bringing care more directly to the patient,” said Eric Tucker, senior director of technical products at GE. “We are already seeing how physicians have become more connected to their patients through the power of telemedicine or teleconsultation. Just imagine what will be possible when millions of medical devices and diagnostic tools can be reliably connected to help physicians provide faster and more efficient patient care.

Tucker says that in today’s model, a patient calls the doctor for an illness – but the doctor doesn’t really know what’s going on with the patient until he comes to the office. The faster 5G will allow portable devices connected to the doctor’s network that are inconvenient with standard wireless networks.

“With the development of wearable sensors and other medical monitoring devices that GE and others are innovating, a future scenario may well be for the doctor to call the patient to tell them first that something is wrong,” he said. Tucker said. “This is possible in a very limited way today. The power of 5G networks could make it ubiquitous. “


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