5G Cellular Network – The fifth generation of global network standard that is in talks for quite some time. All the major carriers have already launched some form of 5G network and the mobile industry is also taking a keen interest in this.
But what exactly is 5G and how will it change the consumer market? Here are all the facts and everything you need to know about the 5G network.
What is 5G?
5G, also known as Fifth-generation wireless is the latest iteration of the global network technology, engineered to greatly increase the responsiveness, speed, and reliability of the wireless connection. It is a software-defined network that won’t replace your need for cables anywhere soon, but will significantly reduce the need for them by mostly operating on the cloud.
With 5G, the data transmission rate over wireless broadband can travel at a massive multigigabit speed, with the potential to hit more than 25 gigabits per second (Gbps).
For example, to download a movie on 3G you have to wait for more than 26 hours, on 4G that’s 6 minutes, and on 5G, the wait time is roughly 3 seconds. But it’s not just the internet speed that will improve, the latency and response time will also see their fair share of justice.
For reference, 4G listens to command in roughly 45 milliseconds (ms), on 5G it will only take 1ms. Smartphone users will enjoy a more streamlined experience, better network coverage, and a marvelous speed that is 100x better than the current-gen network. But 5G has its own drawbacks and like all the things in the world, it is still dependent on data; a lot of raw data.
How does 5G work?
Wireless networks are composed of cell sites that are divided into different sectors to send data over radio waves. Unlike 4G, where you require a high-power cell tower to generate signals over a large distance, 5G can transmit the same data over a smaller number of light poles, meaning a small form factor.
5G is built on what’s called the “millimeter wave (MM wave)”. It’s a new spectrum of high-frequency signals that supports 20 GHz, all the way to 100 GHz. But the catch is, the higher the frequency, the lesser the range. That’s why 5G is more dependent on a smaller number of poles to function properly.
MM wave’s biggest problem is that if you’re standing near the node, it only travels in a direct line of sight. It means that the signals will get distracted by small changes such as buildings, trees, walls, and even the weather. The previous generation of wireless technology used the lower frequency band to deal with this problem, but as 5G requires a high MM wave, the only way to boost this network is to install more nearby poles.
How does 5G will help transform the world?
For many analysts, speed is just one example of how 5G could play an important role in the development of the Internet of things (IoT). An industry to reach its full scale by the end of 2025, linking and controlling an entire eco-system of smart products such as robots, medical devices, industrial equipment, and agriculture machinery.
5G will also provide a more personalized web experience with a technique called “network slicing”. It’s a new way to make a bespoke network for individual users, based on their requirements.
For example, there’s a gamer that wants the maximum upload speed paired with the lowest response time. And on the other side, there’s a user that just wants to check their social media. Being able to personalize your internet will improve the overall network experience.
When can we start with 5G?
While the concept of 5G was proposed back in early 2010, the real work started in 2015. Despite its better performance, it is estimated by 2025, 5G network will still lag behind the current-gen network market (3G and 4G). Its mainstream existence faces many hurdles one of which at the forefront is the cost.
Both 3G and 4G networks were cheaper to roll out as they use the same frequency we see on the radio spectrum. There are a lot of towers installed for such. Now in terms of 5G to work properly, you need a much bigger bandwidth, which means you have to install new towers, cables; a basically new infrastructure.
The next big hurdle is something that remained in the past and will remain so in the future. And that is 5G concerns on health.
Is 5G safe?
Well, there is a lot of conspiracy going around with 5G being a very “cellular radiation network”. There have been a lot of inaccuracies with some suggesting that it is the main cause of the coronavirus. But the simple answer is that 5G is really just like any other network.
There’s no proof so far on the expose of 5G radiofrequency fields to the immune system. There’s no solid evidence that it can have a negative effect on your health but the studied EMFs have found no or mixed results.
What’s next for 5G?
5G technology still has to cover a long way to reach the global market, but when it fully establish itself it could change the way how the internet works at home and at work. It promises to break the traditional paradigm of data delivery by providing scalable network connectivity almost everywhere.
To accommodate this new paradigm of data delivery, investment is required that could mean installing a new network of infrastructure around the world. With the wireless network currently replacing the system of cables and phone lines. It may not happen overnight, but it’s an amazing little glimpse of the future.