Currently, functioning in about 24 countries worldwide, the latest statement cellular technology is the global 5th generation network or 5G net. Devised specifically to enhance the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks this new technology is yet another exemplary example of the brilliance of scientific innovation and its ultimate goal of easing our daily lives.
According to Bob Spoerl’s blog titled 5G and the impact it will have on our global economy, by the end of 2023, around one billion users are projected to have access to 5G. The users will enjoy an average internet speed of 500 Mbps with a potential peak of almost 20 Gbps. Feel free to compare it to your current surfing speed which can hardly reach 1 Gbps, even in good weather conditions.
Any new tech brings with it revolutionary changes and varied impacts across numerous industries. This article primarily concerns itself with highlighting the influence that the global 5G rollout will have over legal industry, globally.
Though, Sarah Wray and James Rogerson have broadly captured the benefits of 5G in there article titled How 5G will reshape business, we have further attempted to bring more benefits of this wonderful networking system:
- Lightning speed! the movie which currently takes a dozen minutes to download will be done in a matter of few seconds with 5G speed. If you’re doing your maths correctly, that’s a straight 100-fold increment.
- Multiplicity in device connection that will allow exchanging of an intensive quantity of data—the merits of which need not be iterated.
- Lo and behold, the magic of minimal latency! Say goodbye to delays and buffers. Where we were previously dealing with a network latency of around 30-40 milliseconds in 4G, its successor goes light years ahead and stands at a latency of hardly 1 millisecond or less. Yes, that’s right… less!
- A low packet error rate, no more than 10-5 (0.001%) 20B packets can fail to be delivered by 1 millisecond. You might not fully comprehend this technical nuance but you certainly cannot deny how futuristic it sounds.
- A whirlwind theoretical peak speed (20 Gigabytes per second!) to tackle all your high-demanding applications.
- Flexibility that would put gymnasts to shame. The 5G network segregates available physical networks into various virtual ones, thus reducing the workload and dependence on a limited number of servers.
- Simply by the virtue of completing all your tasks much more quickly, the 5G network also extends your battery life. Truly a cherry on top, isn’t it?
- 5G will enable the development of new services and industries in wide areas such as AI and all interconnected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). It will function as the key to enabling smart cities, workspaces, and all kinds of autonomous devices.
Predictable Changes for the legal industry
- Discovery and due diligence: During the discovery stage of litigation, attorneys must access massive amounts of data from clients, and the amount of data they can analyse is sometimes limited by the capability of their equipment. There's also the issue of conducting discovery and due diligence on the go - some of this work is done in the field, and 5G-enabled cellphones with extremely fast download speeds will enable attorneys to be more mobile, allowing them to perform analytical tasks at a client's location.
- Intellectual property (IP) and data privacy litigation: As technology advances, two new phenomena emerge: intellectual property (IP) litigation and data privacy litigation. In terms of intellectual property law, everyone is hurrying to be 5G-compliant, so phone makers, laptop manufacturers, and IoT providers will be enticed to employ stolen intellectual property. We will very certainly witness a deluge of lawsuits arising from massive data dumps that were improperly kept on the cloud and were hacked or otherwise exposed. Of fact, this is nothing new, but now that high-powered data processing is available to everyone, more cases are likely. 5G technology has the potential to have an influence on virtually every major legal practise area, from finance to intellectual property, administration to international trade, and everything in between. The Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving cars, robot doctors, real-time virtual reality, and "smart" devices are only the beginning. Almost every other industry is currently working to incorporate 5G into its operations and routines.
- Liability & Regulatory considerations: Lawyers need not worry! As 5G gains traction, legal assistance will be required to address new liability and regulatory considerations for activities suddenly made possible by 5G counsel in order to function properly. A much-discussed example is the issue of liability when 5G networks allow self-driving cars to communicate with each other and their surroundings.
- Mergers and Acquisitions: 5G innovation is projected to boost M&A over a broad spectrum of enterprises as corporations seek to capitalise upon that potential through targeted acquisitions. The effects might be evident in businesses spanning from property investment trusts that manage fibre optics and cell towers in networks to industries that can employ 5G's better server connectivity for distant driverless vehicles’ operations.
- Data protection: The capacity of a 5G infrastructure of considerably greater data transmission at such an unprecedented pace presents new potential vulnerabilities that attorneys and corporations must be mindful of when formulating partnerships. Allowing additional devices to interconnect entails even bigger cybersecurity concerns. The virtualisation that accompanies 5G expands multiple routes of entry, increasing the possibility for cyberattacks and data mining. Disruption in IoT connectivity could result in automated vehicle infiltration. Additional hazards include identity theft (it's not a joke!) and the transmission of viruses. The cyber risk imperative to obtain legal dispute, and liability, which can arise from contractual or other alternatives.
It is, but, obvious that we are only scratching the surface of just what 5G might provide with regard to new economic prospects, and at this forefront, there's a substantial demand for legal assistance in aspects like data privacy, safety, and corporate assets.
Considering the significance of data in contemporary industry and the networks' enhanced capacity to collect, transport, and analyse the data, 5G networks will have an impact on a wide range of enterprises and processes.
What is absolutely certain is that 5G is likely to produce a significant amount of work for attorneys, as well as legal hurdles and parliamentary activities addressing spectrum bandwidth allocation, royalties, IPR, and, data confidentiality, among other concerns.
Author: Varun Bhatia, Co-Founder of 3NServe