What you need to know about 5G
Let’s talk about 5G.
It’s a term we hear often and yet it’s not really explained. To think it’s just about “faster internet” would be a mistake as 5G is so much more than just providing faster and more reliable Internet access
5G is the new wave of mobile wireless technology that is set to replace today’s 4G. Some experts are even claiming that its arrival ushers in the advent of the fourth industrial revolution. 5G also includes features that are fundamentally different from current technology and will change that way our we connect, work and even live.
So here is what you need to know about 5G
What is 5G?
5G is the 5th generation wireless network technology. It offers significant improvements in terms of coverage, speed, and reliability. This upgrade is seen as a feasible solution to the growing number of devices that depend on constant Internet access, many of them needing so much bandwidth to function that 4G simply isn’t providing anymore.
When Will 5G Come Out?
5G isn’t as widely available yet since it is still primarily in the testing and developmental stage. However, there are several companies that are already offering 5G in limited areas. For instance, the 5G rollout in major Australian metro areas is already happening, with around 15 million handsets expected to be in use by 2023.
Some of the US providers are also rolling out 5G in select cities and learning from these sites before expanding the rollout.
5G versus 4G:
Without getting too technical, here are some of the key differences of 5G and 4G:
Precision: 4G towers tend to send data in all directions, even at locations that are not even requesting Internet access. This results in a considerable waste of power and energy, as well as weaker Internet access. In comparison, 5G uses unique radio frequencies that are higher and more directional.
Higher frequencies also mean better ability to support fast data without too much clutter or interference with other wireless signals. 4G networks use frequencies that are below 6 GHz, while 5G networks are expected to use anywhere from 30 GHz to 300 GHz.
Furthermore, 5G uses shorter wavelengths. Antennas can then be made smaller than current ones without affecting directional control. Consequently, 5G can support more devices, at more than 1,000 devices per meter, compared to 4G.
Latency: Latency refers to the time a signal requires to travel. 5G has lower levels of latency compared to 4G networks. With an approximate latency of a millisecond, 5G enables faster access to the data. Be it a webpage loading or an improved immersive experience for VR and AR users or instantaneous updates for autonomous cars
Download Speed: 5G’s peak speed can get to around 20 Gbps. This means that theoretically, you can download things 20 times faster than 4G.
What are some 5G Applications:
Aside from mobile Internet access, here are some of the expected applications for 5G:
Autonomous Cars: Autonomous or self-driving cars need to process and transmit huge amounts of data to detect obstacles, follow maps, understand smart signs, and communicate with each other. Only 5G is capable of providing the speed, latency, and security necessary to get autonomous cars on the road.
Immersive Entertainment: VR and AR technologies are already helping improve the experience of viewing sports and other live events. 5G’s revolutionary data capacity and speed will enable more innovation in this area to breathe new life into immersive entertainment. Fans at home and on mobile devices can expect to experience the same exhilaration and excitement as fans who are watching live on-site.
Smart Cities: Smart cities are those that heavily depend on connected devices. These are cities that feature sustainability, resource conservation, and economic development initiatives. With the booming population growth in urban cities across the world, cities need better technologies to meet the increasing demands. From autonomous cars, smart buses, smart billboards to smart buildings, 5G is expected to help realize innovations in local services.
Healthcare: The healthcare industry is expected to dramatically improve with the introduction of 5G. It offers the connectivity needed for technology such as smart wearables, tactile Internet, remote health monitoring, and emergency medical services to function properly, and at the speed that ensures fast medical access, response, and provision.
So in summary:
With the Internet of Things (IoT), connectivity requirements are at an all-time high. Everything will continue to be connected to something in some way and in order to facilitate this, 5G is critical.
5G is intended to considerably improve the speed and responsiveness of mobile networks. 5G allows data to travel faster because of advanced antenna technology and more bandwidth. With the significant boost in speed, capacity, and latency, 5G is expected to revolutionize industries and business models.