5G, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity was launched on April 3 in few areas of Chicago and Minneapolis and will continue to expand throughout 2019, yet few are aware of what is it!
It has brought the speed 10 or even 20 times faster than the current 4G networks, with rapid data upload and download speeds, higher bandwidth, and more steady connections.
But the question arises, “what change has it brought for us?”
So what is 5G?
It is improved use of the radio spectrum that allows more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time.
How does it help us?
According to Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company, “Whatever we do now with our smartphones we’ll be able to do faster and better,”
“Think of smart glasses featuring augmented reality, mobile virtual reality, much higher quality video, the internet of things making cities smarter,”
“But what’s really exciting is all the new services that will be built that we can’t foresee.”
Likewise, 5G can be a significant tool for autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read a live map and traffic data.
To put it more plainly, when the mobile gamer presses a button on a controller, he will see the effect immediately on screen-this means less delay or no latency. Streaming live videos will be quite swift, and downloading movies is instantaneous. Video calls will be clearer and less jerky. Wearable fitness devices can monitor your health in real time, alerting doctors as soon as an emergency arises.
Numerous technologies are likely to be applied, but no fixed criteria have been shaped out yet for all 5G protocols.
Having a frequency range of 3.5GHz to 26GHz and beyond- the magnitude is high, but their shorter wavelengths mean their range is lower thus more easily blocked by physical objects.
As a solution, groups of smaller phone poles are installed closer to the ground, transmitting “millimeter waves” in between the greater number of transmitters and receivers. This, in turn, means a greater density of usage. However, its high cost has deterred telecom companies for now.
5G: What’s new?
Right now 5G is used by network operators as a way to improve capacity on existing 4G to establish a stable service for the users. Though it is a brand new radio technology, the speed depends on the spectrum band the 5G technology runs on and how much has been invested in new masts and transmitters by the carrier.
5G is expected to reach a speed of 1Gbps as the fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45Mbps (megabits per second) on average. Chipmaker Qualcomm reckons 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds about 10 to 20 times faster in real-world conditions.
Till now 5G networks coexist with 4G LTE networks. Separate 5G networks can operate within very high frequencies (30GHz) and can easily reach gigabit plus browsing speeds as standard. But we have to wait for a few years.
End of breakdowns in service?
With the increasing usage of data every year, the current spectrum bands are becoming jam-packed. It eventually leads to breakdowns in service, especially when many are trying to connect mobile services at the same time. 5G is better at tackling numerous devices together from mobiles to equipment sensors, video cameras to smart street lights.
Compatible with your old smartphone?
orry to say but no it will not be compatible. Smartphones came into the market before 4G was introduced back in 2009/10. This means the infrastructure was present ahead to support 4G, though the consumers were exasperated as they felt they were paying more in subscriptions for an irregular service.
However, this time, the phone sets will be launched once the network is available worldwide. These next-generation phones will be able to switch seamlessly between 4G and 5G networks for a more stable service.
Sadly, the 5G network will primarily be available in urban areas. The rural areas that already suffer from lack of signal and low data speeds are unlikely to benefit from 5G. As it will operate on high-frequency bands – to start with at least – that have a lot of capacity but cover a shorter distance.
Lower-frequency bands (600-800Mhz typically) are better over longer distances, so network operators will concentrate on improving their 4G LTE coverage along with 5G roll-out.
It is possible that the government subsidy may encourage network operators to go to these places.
Future of fixed line services?
Excessive investment in fiber optic and copper wire fixed line broadband will discourage telecom companies from giving up soon. Domestic and office broadband services will be primarily fixed line for many years to come, although so-called fixed wireless access will be made available in tandem.
No matter how much the wireless connectivity develops, many prefer the stability and certainty of physical wires.
Many think of 5G mobile as a complimentary service for when we’re out and about, interacting with the world around us. It will also facilitate the much-heralded “internet of things.”
Is 5G harmful?
According to The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), radiofrequency fields are listed as possibly carcinogenic to humans. As pointed out in its article, this is the same classification given to coffee. So there is no need to panic, yet.
In the same article, the FDA is quoted saying that it “continues to believe that the current safety limits for cellphone radiofrequency energy exposure remain acceptable for protecting the public health.” For now, there appears to be no risk to health from the radio waves produced by phones and towers. At least no more than already existed.