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Japanese industrial firm Shimizu is already demonstrating how independent robots will be in future thanks to 5G technology. Its robots can autonomously carry out repairs, bolting work and welding in the field – because with an ultra-fast fifth-generation cellular network behind them, the robots are no longer reliant on Wi-Fi (WLAN). This prerequisite will be a key driver of growth in robotics over the next few years.

Increasingly intelligent robots already need to process vast amounts of data, and accommodating that complex technology in small machines is often impossible. A strong wireless connection will make offloading computational power to an edge resource or the cloud significantly easier and more flexible.

In Germany, however, the Federal Network Agency will no longer be able to keep the auction of 5G frequencies as scheduled for the fall of 2018. A new date is not likely to be until early 2019 . The delay is in light of a few outstanding questions regarding the conditions attached to allocation, but should not affect the actual rollout by 2021.