The fifth generation wireless network is already in the works and the outcomes will be profound. A 5G network will be powerful enough to download a movie to your tablet in less than 5 seconds, or to control a self-driving car. It will be around 110% faster than anything available at the moment.

Obviously the impact on day-to-day life will be significant and many companies are clambering to be first on the ground. AT&T, Verizon, China Mobile and TeliaSonera in Scandinavia have all begun planning and testing. Some analysts believe that 5G technology is a decade away, with agreements having to be forged across multiple locations and as various suppliers jockey to have their technology given priority.

However, if we need an example of how the wireless world is working together, we need only look to ‘5G Ground Zero.’ The University of Surry started research on 5G in late 2011 and have had numerous businesses, suppliers and individuals not only wanting to contribute, but cooperate. Hugely expensive pieces of equipment, millions of dollars of financing and invaluable expertise show just how committed the industry is to achieving the next step in the evolution of wireless.

This is due in no small part to the fact that 5G technology will mean an exponential growth in opportunity for everyone. Telco providers will have more customers, device manufacturers will be able to release more products which consumers will happily purchase and small app studios will be able to produce better and more engaging products faster. Media organisations will be able to diversify their content as live video, not simply streaming, on mobile devices becomes a reality.

The real winners though will be the manufacturing sector that for so long has been left in the dark. The next generation of fridges, stoves, front doors, cars, baby-care equipment and…well everything…will talk to and share information with each other. Is it cold outside? Your car will let your heater at home know and it will switch on. Your house will recognise when nobody is home and turn off the appliances and activate the security system, which will watch you return and tell the house to unlock the front door, turn on the TV and switch on the lights. Industries that have been caught in a rut for decades will see themselves on the cutting edge.

For countries that have abandoned manufacturing to their own detriment, like Australia, it’s a chance to reinvigorate the sector with forward planning and training. The time for investment is now.