What’s the common thread tying together autonomous and connected cars, digital health solutions, robotics, the Internet of Things, and smart city technologies – aside from a shared spirit of innovation? To reach their full potential, each will require a network infrastructure that enables the processing and transfer of massive amounts of data at ultra-high speeds – which is why the rollout of fifth-generation (5G) cellular network technology will prove pivotal.

In July, the Israeli Ministry of Communications announced the country’s auction for 5G frequencies, with up to 500 million NIS (nearly $150 million) in incentives for companies to accelerate their investments in the technology.

But Israel’s contributions to 5G technology will extend well beyond the Start-Up Nation’s borders. The country’s R&D prowess is paving the way for advances in 5G technology and laying vital groundwork for the coming 5G infrastructure. Through initiatives like the HERON Consortium – a collaboration among 13 industrial partners and 15 research teams across six academic institutions – Israeli innovators are working intensively to build the network architecture necessary for 5G to transform connectivity.

What’s more, cutting-edge network services companies are spearheading the development of solutions that will be crucial to supporting the 5G architecture. Here’s a look at some of the country’s leading innovators in the space:

  • Amid rapidly growing demand for network services, networking software company DriveNets’s Network Cloud solution is designed to help communication service providers to cost-effectively meet demand at scale – enabling service providers to address critical issues like 5G deployment. The company has secured $117 million in funding this year.
  • In May, NASDAQ-traded Gilat Satellite Networks pioneered the first-ever demonstration of 5G connectivity over a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite. The test, conducted with a tier-1 European operator, featured video chatting, web browsing, and video streaming, and was carried out via a Gilat high throughput modem. Since its founding in 1987, Gilat has shipped over 750,000 VSATs to network operators in 85 countries.
  • Founded in 2015, RunEL was launched by some of the key pioneers behind 4G network infrastructure. The company’s Sparq-2020 ultra-low latency chipset is designed with a wide range of future 5G applications in mind, including connected cars, remote surgery, AR and VR, drone communication, gaming, and industrial automation.

Offering surfing speeds about 20 times faster than 4G, 5G will usher in dramatic changes across countless industries, transforming today’s high-tech dreams into tomorrow’s reality. It’s hardly surprising, then, that innovators around the globe are eagerly awaiting 5G’s deployment – and it’s even less surprising that Israeli technology will play a significant role in making it possible.