5G made its international debut at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While the thousands of attendees get to utilize its real-time speed and other innovative features, humans aren’t the only ones to receive this hands-on experience with the network. The 5G network is also being used to deter wild boars roaming the mountainous terrain around Pyeongchang’s stadium, and other locations where Olympic festivities are occurring. South Korea contains a wild boar population in the tens of thousands that wreak havoc on crop fields, and potentially threaten the safety of Olympic tourists.
According to South Korea’s Environmental Ministry, three people have been killed and 21 injured in wild boar attacks between 2012 and 2016. Farmers have relied on deterrent methods like electric fences and hunting, neither of which have been necessarily effective. Hunting hasn’t had much effect on the country’s wild boar population and the practice has drawn protests from animal activists. Electric fences have caused many accidental injuries, and their camera setups (powered by 4G systems), can’t distinguish wild boars from humans or other mammals like deer. Image quality is so low, they can’t even be analyzed to garner data on wild boars and their behavioral patterns.
Companies like KT Corp, Intel, Ericsson AB, and Samsung (just to mention a few) are heavily involved in the Pyeongchang 5G unveiling. These engineers realize wild boars are very intelligent creatures, which requires smarter technology to effectively deter them. KT, in particular, has been working on deterring wild boar populations using the network.
5G-enabled technology has been used to scare away wild boars that come within close range of the Olympic festivities using fast-acting systems that shoot rays, gases, and emit tiger roars. 5G’s ability to relay information in real time allows the network to surpass the capabilities of 4G, and several farmers in the Pyeongchang region hope this technology could help improve their livelihoods, so they don’t have to rely on the currently ineffective methods that aim at combating wild boar populations.