You may have noticed a small tower in the Lake Nona Town Center. This tower is the first step to building a community-wide 5G network powered by Verizon. Earlier this year, Lake Nona announced a new agreement with Verizon to bring the company’s different technologies into our community, including 5G.
Lake Nona has always been at the forefront of connectivity. We laid the groundwork with our fiber infrastructure that provides high-speed internet access to homes and businesses. Now, we’re working to make that connectivity seamless throughout Lake Nona, no matter where you are.
While the effects may not be immediate, 5G will have an impact in Lake Nona beyond personal use. In addition to quicker connectivity and downloads, 5G will spark advancements across a variety of industries that have a presence in Lake Nona, including health and wellness in Medical City and mobility with autonomous shuttles.
In this Q&A, Juan Santos, senior director of innovation at Tavistock, Lake Nona’s developer, offers insight into the partnership and what it means for the future of innovation in Lake Nona.
Lake Nona: What’s the goal of our agreement with Verizon? What are we hoping to achieve and bring to the community?
Juan Santos: Our objective is to make sure that Lake Nona is the best place for entrepreneurs to start their businesses through infrastructure that inspires and supports their innovation. We have a physical infrastructure with our roads, buildings and waterways, and connectivity to the world thanks to close proximity to the airport. We have a digital infrastructure with over 20,000 miles of fiber, and we have human infrastructure with the people who come to work, study and live in Lake Nona.
With 5G, we’re on to the next chapter of enhancing that connectivity. Lake Nona is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can pull out a 5G device and use it. We are creating an environment where entrepreneurship is driven by this intersection of technology, people and place that makes Lake Nona the ideal location to start a business, big or small.
LN: How do you see technology shaping the future of Lake Nona?
JS: I think technology, to a degree, shapes the future of the world because it changes the way we communicate and the way that we experience a lot of things. For example, if you leave your phone at home, you go back for it. But if you leave your credit card or wallet, you’ll ask a coworker to buy you lunch. In Lake Nona, we want to be a community of today, every day. We’re providing people with the tools to shape the future.
LN: What can residents and visitors expect to see in the future from this agreement?
JS: Over time, residents can expect to see connectivity on their mobile devices that is as fast or faster than what they have at home with their fiber connection. In the near future, there will be more devices than people connected to the internet. Most of the things currently connected to the internet have a person on the other side of the screen, like your phone or your computer. We’ll start to see devices like our shoes or car doors directly connected to the internet. To do that, innovators will have to figure out how to deliver connectivity with machines that have very low battery usage. So, with 5G, you can create a device where the battery lasts a month or a year.
We’re going to see technology innovations beyond anything we can imagine. Without 4G, we wouldn’t have Netflix or Uber. The only thing we know about 5G right now is that it’s faster and has less latency than 4G. Early users of 5G could be anything that has to do with a remote control. Drones could be controlled using 5G, like drone deliveries. Right now, with robotic surgery, the doctor is in the procedure room or the room next door. With 5G, a doctor could be performing surgery remotely from the other side of the world.
We’re excited to see all the ways Verizon’s technology will inspire advancements across Lake Nona. In the coming months, there will be several announcements that will detail how this new technology will be used to attract entrepreneurs with innovation labs, accelerators and co-working spaces.