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5G can ease traffic, address floods – expert

Countries like the Philippines that face problems on flooding and traffic congestion stand to benefit more from the use of fifth-generation or 5G technology, an expert said.

Dr. Henry Chan, a development economist based in Singapore and a senior research fellow at the Cambodia Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said the country would improve its existing key social and economic sectors should it focus on “5G user case application.”

“The Philippines, being a developing country, I think can develop and use it for flood control, traffic management and for agriculture improvement. That is the good thing with 5G because there’s no space limitation,” he said on the sidelines of an Integrated Development Studies Institute forum in Makati City.

5G is an engineered evolution of the 4G, which promises wider application — from education banking, transportation and government services, among others.

To ease traffic congestion in Manila, Chan said the government could use 5G in mobilizing real-time sensors in every intersection and control the traffic using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

“You can have it done via remote control. Every intersection, you have sensors, real-time sensors, so traffic control centers who are using AI technology gets to improve the speed of vehicle flow,” he said.

“5G allows you to have a video in every intersection without cabling because it’s wireless transmission, so you have real-time monitoring of traffic, you have a real-time adjustment of traffic light, so the traffic flow would be much better,” he added.

Chan said 5G could also enhance the country’s disaster risk reduction policies and expand its monitoring capabilities, much like in its application on traffic management.

“In the case of flooding in the Philippines, I feel that if you can put censors along the river, any overflowing, you could immediately be alerted,” he said.


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