When we attended Mobile World Congress, which is one of the largest and leading trade shows in telecommunication, in 2019 (unfortunately this is the last time when we attended in person so far), we could see the same word “5G” almost everywhere. Of course, a role of trade shows to create a new trend that we want to follow so that “5G” was THE concept that companies and institutions wanted to prevail at that time. However, to realize and diffuse new technologies is more difficult. In fact, we think that 5G network is not available and popular as much as we thought in 2019.

Even though it takes time for us to recognize, to use and to enjoy 5G network, the new technology has huge potential to improve our life as well as society. For example, 5G network will enable doctors to perform operation remotely. This can be a game changer in healthcare industry because remote operation eases the restrictions of physical existence. In other words, if we ask a doctor to do operation, we have to go his/her hospital. However, remote operation will be able to remove this limitation so that more people could receive its benefit.

When we want to make 5G network more available across the globe, we have to invest in infrastructures more. Whether we notice it or not, submarine networks are essential part of them. Some reports say that submarine networks carry more than 95 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic. Orange S.A., which is a French multinational multi-service operator including operator service and cybersecurity, is one of global telecommunication giants to lead submarine cables as well as 5G network. It has 266 million customers worldwide and employs 147,000 people in the world. For example, the Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s busiest routes in terms of connectivity with over 80% of internet traffic generated in France coming from the US, and Orange and its collaborators have installed submarine networks.

Even though many people will receive the new technology’s benefit without noticing, the war to invest in submarine networks is escalating.