Thomas Rappold is an online entrepreneur, startup investor, and book author who has been working at the forefront of digital transformation for more than 25 years. We spoke to the digital technology expert about the rising importance of 5G.
by: Torge Schwandt
photo: Thomas Rappold
featured: Thomas Rappold
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What is 5G all about?
The development and introduction of 5G technology is the key to the world of tomorrow. It is more than the traditional updating of the existing mobile communication standards with higher transmission rates. It includes the development and rollout of completely innovative hardware systems. 5G is a true gamechanger as it will enable not just gigabyte bandwidth speed but actually change user experiences and allow technological solutions that were not possible before – all that based on stable and quick-response connections without any of the disconnection problems from former technology standards.
Why will it be such a gamechanger?
With billions of connected mobile devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers and also cars, the demand for fail-safe internet access is more important than ever, especially as the number of these devices continues to increase. The gigantic growing amount of data needs to be transferred to the cloud in a stable and quick way so that it can be actually utilized. 5G will enable this almost like a powerful “data highway”.
In this sense, 5G will be the answer to our increasingly mobile, digital, and highly flexible world with its growing on-demand and sharing economy.
“5G technology is the key to the world of tomorrow.”
What are the use cases for 5G?
Based on 5G, innovative business models like in IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 will actually be enabled in a way that it could not be done before. For example, machines will be able to communicate with each other, supervise themselves, order replacement parts or communicate reliable alerts without time delays. The further development and introduction of autonomous driving will benefit tremendously too.
But also from a consumer’s perspective, many applications will just start to arise thanks to 5G. Mobile video streaming on smartphones and tablets, VR/AR (virtual/augmented reality), online gaming or applications in healthcare like telemedicine will see breakthroughs. This will lead to massive changes in the creation and provision of digital media services. Accordingly, 5G technology matters for all – startups and corporations alike.
How do you see Luxembourg positioned as a 5G country?
I see Luxembourg as being exceptionally well-suited for becoming a true “5G country”. In order to have 5G succeed all around the world, the seamless collaboration between governments, regulatory authorities, hardware providers, systems operators, software developers and other stakeholders like interest associations is crucial.
I do see the potential for this collaboration in Luxembourg, especially thanks to its open mindset, starting all the way on the top with the government that is addressing topics related to innovation like SpaceTech and digital transformation, including 5G, with the necessary care and importance.
“The 5G Technology Index is the first European-wide structured investment product in 5G.”
You have created the “5G Technology Index”. Can you tell us more about this?
I’ve always enjoyed building and shipping innovative technological products myself and investing in companies that do this. In this regard, I have always found it fundamentally important to ask yourself: What will be in 10 years? What innovations will be needed and happen by then?
As a professional investor and advisor, I have already helped to create different technology indices that people can invest in to participate in the development and growth of high-potential digital innovations. So far, there is are indices for “Industry 4.0”, “Artificial Intelligence”, and “Blockchain”.
The “5G Technology Index” is a logical addition to the existing ones as 5G is laying the foundation for a leap into the future with new digital solutions, innovation, and business models enabled by it. I have created the index together with the Swiss bank Vontobel that issues the index certificates. The “5G Technology Index” (ISIN: DE000VA9H372) is the first European-wide structured investment product in this regard.
Telecommunications equipment provider Qualcomm expects that 5G will create an additional market of 12.3 trillion US Dollars by 2035. So it is a great opportunity to invest in companies working on this technology.