>> Superfast 5G networks are promising to connect the world in totally new ways. But depending on where you live, people may have to wait longer before they're ferried around in connected self-driving cars. Undergoing medical procedures by remote control, or tracking drones to make sure they don't endanger airspace.
I'm Doug Busvine, reporting for Reuters at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In Japan, NTT DoCoMo is working on a 20-ton excavator operated remotely. The machinery company Komatsu, wants to be become an export hit. It's experimenting with telemedicine, and has set up an industry consortium to push forward on research into connected cars.
CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa promises that DoCoMo will offer 5G services and uses in 2020. In Korea, the Winter Olympics just ended, showcased 5G with live coverage of events from just about every camera angle imaginable. But sports fans were a bit underwhelmed because they aren't any devices that are enabled to use 5G.
And in Europe, people will have to wait longer. One reason is that governments want to raise billions from auctions of mobile spectrum. Money that could be invested in network upgrades. And they limit the number of years that operators get to use it, in the United States, while a spectrum once auctioned is eternal.
So you're likely to see wireless connections to the home coming a lot faster than say, in Europe. So it's Asia first, the United States second, and Europe third.