5G is one of the most exciting technologies in recent times. Tech experts call it “the next big thing,” and claim that it can completely revolutionize mobile networks similar to what 3G technology did in the first decade of the 21st century.
Despite all this enthusiasm, the first tests of this recent technology in Europe were overshadowed by a controversy involving an insane conspiracy theory.
In the UK (and all over the world, really), several 5G towers were set on fire after allegations that this technology was somehow related to the novel coronavirus pandemic spread all over social media.
Of course, all this is false, and there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support that 5G is dangerous and presents a health risk for humans. With that being said, let’s focus on what matters.
Here’s all you need to know about 5G service and its benefits for consumers, jump right into it.
1. What is it?
5G is the most recent technology standard for cellular networks. Before we discuss its functionalities and potential, it is worth remembering the previous standards and their innovations.
1G: developed in the 1980s, it only delivered analog voice.
2G: developed in the early 1990s, it introduced digital voice technology.
3G: developed in the early 2000s, it introduced mobile data and ended up having a huge influence on how we use the Internet today.
4G LTE: developed in the 2010s, it improved mobile network speed and reliability, thus meeting the demands of today’s users and online services.
All this successive innovation led to 5G technology development, which brings mobile network speed and capacity to outstanding levels. But don’t think that 5G is merely the natural evolution of 4G. It’s much more than that.
2. What about performance?
In terms of performance, the 5G data speed will range from 50 Mb/s to over 1Gb/s. As of right now, the 5G speed increase over 4G is not so blatant, but as carriers build and improve their existing services, you can expect it to drastically improve and bring the current speed closer to the upper limit values that we’ve mentioned.
Concerning latency, 5G service providers report that it is about 30 ms on its early deployments. In the future, this number is expected to drop somewhere in the 10 to 20 ms threshold.
It is important to remember that the 4G TLE technology took some time to be accessible to many consumers at the expected performance level. The same thing should happen with 5G since its signal runs over new radio frequencies.
This means that all radios and equipment in cell towers need to be updated or build from scratch. Experts believe that by 2025, half of the mobile connections will be 5G, so there is still a long road ahead.
On the bright side, all the work required to make this technology available on a global scale will greatly impact the economy: it is expected to create over 2 million new jobs across the entire world.
There are three different methods to set up a 5G network: low-band network, mid-band network, and high-band network. As you would expect, the faster the speed, the shorter the signal coverage. In sum, its greater capacity, speed, and reliability are the main benefits of 5G technology.
3. What are the benefits of 5G over 4G?
After this brief explanation, you are probably still asking yourself: what can 5G do that 4G couldn’t? The answer to this question should take into consideration the current digital landscape and its limitations.
Although current mobile networks are fast and extensive enough to enable us to perform many daily operations, its limitations in speed and bandwidth are very constraining to the tech industry and slow down innovation. These constraints also end up affecting all sectors. Here are some interesting things you should know about the potential of 5G technology:
a. It’s dynamic and smart
5G networks are much more versatile and adjustable than previous technologies. They are made up of large and small antennas that combined offer a much broader traffic channel. Furthermore, it can improve itself considerably as time goes by and technology evolves.
b. It will enable a business revolution
High-tech, as many call it, is both the present and the future. And the Internet is of paramount importance in the development of new technology for all industry sectors.
Experts believe that 5G will play a key role in creating and improving digital services and other types of technologies – for example, it will facilitate the natural evolution of big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, and so on.
Suppose 5G allows exponential growth in these areas, likely, new products that may have a highly significant impact on our society as a whole will emerge. On good practical example is self-driving cars.
5G might give the necessary impulse for them to become reliable enough to come into mass production. Who knows what the future holds, right? But we are all excited to discover.
c. It will improve your user experience
Although we can say that 4G LTE technology satisfies most of our consumer needs, the truth is that we often get frustrated because of its limitations. Especially concerning its speed, latency, and capacity. But all this is about to change. The main aspect to consider is precisely the greater capacity of 5G technology.
This means that 5G networks will handle multiple data connections much better, so you probably won’t notice any decrease in performance when you connect several devices to the same 5G network.
According to the International Telecommunications Union’s Standards, 5G networks should support up to a million devices per square kilometer. That’s huge!
The bottom line is that the increase in performance and capacity that 5G mobile service brings over 4G will allow new products and services to be introduced to the market, which in turn might change our lives completely.
It might take some time, but not too long!