Almost every time I see an article or advertisement on 5G, a reference is made to remote surgery. The point that is being made is that 5G has lower latency and remote surgery would be more practical because of it (for example, mainstream media, ad publications, and research papers).

Question: Is this just a marketing angle, or is there a real latency benefit of 5G over an optical fibre (only) infrastructure in the context of remote surgery?

My expectation is that during a remote surgery separated by thousands of miles, the last mile(s) network would be 5G but in between it would still be fibre optic cables. So why not just use optic cables between the surgeon and the robot? And even if it was 5G all the way between these two devices, I understand radio waves and light travel at the same speed. So I imagine whatever low latency tech used for 5G infrastructure could also be implemented on a fibre optic infrastructure to achieve the same benefits on fibre optic.

  • $\begingroup$ I hope this is sufficiently on topic. I browsed the Stack Exchange sites for a while, but couldn't find a more relevant site than this one. $\endgroup$ – Superman.Lopez Jan 18 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ this might be a good question for the EE section because 5G and also since more people there. However the moderators in that forum can be a bit trigger happy on questions that don't fit the mold. $\endgroup$ – Pete W Jan 18 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @PeteW, I'll consider moving the question. $\endgroup$ – Superman.Lopez Jan 20 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ possibly this is a marketing question, not a technical one. $\endgroup$ – Jasen Jan 20 at 11:11

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