THE FUTURE is here and now and Wales should jump at opportunities available, an Assembly Member has said.

Jack Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, said during a mobile action plan debate that 5G technology is something that impacts businesses in his constituency and is something he is passionate about.

The member of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee said: "My generation knows nothing other than technology, so there's no reason why we shouldn't have 5G in our lives.

"We should, as a Government, as a country, be doing 4G and 5G projects simultaneously, alongside ensuring we have gigabit cities and hubs like I've suggested in the past.

"Llywydd, there's been a lot of discussion in this Chamber, and it's often about looking to the future. But we are out of touch if we think that's the case with 5G, because with 5G, the future is here and it's now."

Mr Sargeant told members that Welsh Government is ensuring the country works together in the ambition to become a global 5G leader, but competition is fierce and the UK is behind.

Six countries are currently adopting 5G technology, including the United States, Japan and China.

The Deeside AM said 5G networks can respond fast enough to co-ordinate self-driving cars, either with cars talking to a central controller at a road intersection or communicating directly with each other.

He added: "We sometimes think that this type of technology is years away, and miles away from being a reality, but, actually, we're already seeing companies make Tesla make huge strides in this market.

"Other companies and experts are already discussing how 5G technology could lead to no traffic lights in the streets—there are cars that are crossing, but they're not bumping into each other.

"Once all cars have sensors and cameras, they could also capture continuous video footage. Now, if there's an unfortunate accident you'll be able to view video from all angles, not just from the cars involved, but from cars all in the same area at the same time.

"Moving to remote healthcare, we know that getting 5G right could permit doctors to perform procedures remotely. The lag time is so miniscule that doctors could use robots to operate on you from 1,000 miles away.

"People in remote regions across the world can be treated by specialists from wherever, something that is pretty amazing in my eyes."

Mr Sargeant asked what they can do to make what seems to be futuristic, today's reality.

He said other countries are leading the way and moving to the future will require difficult questions to be asked and re-think how technology developments have been rolled out in the past.

He said: "Should we really wait until everyone is on 4G, and run the risk of certain areas missing out on the opportunity of being 5G pioneers?

"Now, to be clear, I do want every part of this country to have the best connectivity, but I also want us to jump at the opportunities that are out there in the present."