5G: an accelerator for new technologies


Virtual and augmented reality are on the rise in the business world. And this is just the beginning, says Michaël Peeters of Orange Belgium. “Once 5G is rolled out on a large scale, it will accelerate the digital transformation exponentially.”

Belgium is truly at the forefront of technological innovation, with new applications for businesses being launched regularly. And yet this is only the beginning. Michaël Peeters, Director Innovation and Business Development at Orange, is expecting a significant acceleration soon, with 5G as the main driving force.


5G as an accelerator

“Once 5G is rolled out on a large scale, it will accelerate the digital transformation exponentially,” he says. “This new mobile network will offer businesses more bandwidth, better responsiveness and far lower latency. It will undoubtedly make 5G an accelerator for many other emerging technologies such as cloud and edge computing, connected vehicles, virtual and augmented reality and AI.”


Applications that work for everyone

One of the Belgian companies that is working on these emerging technologies is Nirli, whose name stands for Never Imagine to Restrict or Limit Innovations. The Namur-based company develops innovative 3D and virtual reality applications that support and simplify workplace learning. “I lost the use of my right arm when I was in a car accident aged 18,” CEO Jean-Marc Duyckaerts says. “As a right-handed person, I had to teach myself to do everyday things like tying my shoelaces using just my left hand.” He now uses that as a benchmark for his company’s work. “Our applications must be so simple that I can use them with one hand.” Nirli develops virtual worlds and augmented reality for that purpose. “Those applications allow us to test things that are not yet possible in reality. For example, surgeons can try out new techniques in a virtual world before using them on patients.”



An ecosystem for technological innovation

Orange Belgium wants to facilitate technological innovations for partners such as Nirli. “5G is broadening our IT services even more. We develop solutions that generate specific added value for companies,” Michaël Peeters says. “We also gain additional knowledge by working with colleagues from the Orange group internationally and with local IT partners. That is how we play a pioneering role.”

Orange Belgium wants to share this knowledge with everyone, and particularly with companies in less obvious sectors. “All sectors can innovate with 5G, including the more traditional industries,” Peeters says. “That’s why we opened a 5G Lab: to demonstrate the different possibilities and inspire companies interested in 5G and other new technologies. There are endless potential use cases across all sectors.”


To find out what growth opportunities 5G and digital innovations offer your business, take the test and take a look at our vision paper.

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