We have now experienced the rewards of 4G networks, and now people are gearing towards a new trend – the 5G. Today, more of the world’s leading players in the wireless industry are recently racing to become the first to define 5G and position themselves as a premiere 5G leader. But what does 5G really means? And what can we get from this update in the wireless technology?
Let’s drive down the network lane and find out more about this latest IT buzz.
When did we first know about wireless technology?
Wireless technology began when analogue telecommunications standards were introduced in the 80’s, signaling the first generation of wireless technology or 1G. In the early 1990’s, the technology then expanded to digital communications or 2G, which is significantly more efficient than the analogue communications, allowing for a vast mobile penetration level. It also introduced data services for mobile and all SMS conversations are digitally encrypted.
Eventually, people moved on to the next level – 3G. This gave everyone the ability to make phone calls and browse the internet, as well as send texts. Then along came the fourth generation or 4G, which enhanced the many capabilities made possible by 3G. With this, people can download and upload large files without any issues. Another variety of 4G – the LTE or long-term evolution – was later added by companies, becoming the fastest and most consistent of any 4G variants and competitors such as WiMAX. LTE later became the standard, thereby making 4G even faster.
What is 5G?
Everyone has a different interpretation of what 5G network surely is. There is still no clear definition as to what 5G is – yet. But some experts have insights on what it truly means.
5G will continue on the foundation built by 4G LTE. It will still allow the basic services such as sending texts, making calls, and browse our favorite websites – but with increased speed at which data is transferred across different networks. 5G will make viewing and downloading HD and 3D videos a piece of cake!
This new generation of wireless technology will be the next monotony of cellular standard which aims to break the boundaries its predecessor has reached. This feature intends to deliver 50 times faster data rate than any leading Wi-Fi networks existing today. But 5G isn’t all just about streaming movies in a fraction of a second, it’s all about building a wireless network backbone for connected devices out there.
How fast will 5G be?
The final verdict on how much faster 5G will be than 4G is still not really determined, this is because the 5G technology is still under development. That being said, the networks should focus on one thing: provide significant upgrades to current download and upload speeds – with the GSMA proposing minimum download speeds of around 1GBps.
Most estimates expect the average speed of 5G networks to reach 10Gbs, while some even think 5G could tap a whopping 800Gbs of transfer speed. This would mean that users could download a full-length HD quality film in a matter of seconds, making your “Netflix and Chill” cooler than ever, and that downloading and installing software upgrades would be completed much faster than what today’s speed is offering.
Enter a Connected World
Because 5G is capable of handling larger volumes of data traffic than any previous network generations, this will enable billions of smart devices ranging from wearable health monitors to your fridge to be linked together seamlessly through the Internet. It will also open a door to a new breed of consumer and industrial uses and application – some of it may seem implausible simply because they’re far ahead of our time.
Just recently, German carmakers and mobile telecoms network firms forged an alliance to bring 5G to the automotive industry. This new alliance, called the 5G Automotive Association, aims to “address key technical and regulatory issues, integration of vehicle platforms with 5G connectivity, privacy and security, and distributed cloud infrastructure and on-board vehicle computing systems.”
The biggest challenge so far into having a solid 5G infrastructure is standardisation. While there are some groups who are striving to come up with a standard, some people still doubt whether they’ll be able to come together and agree upon it.
Building a 5G infrastructure will take massive amounts of undertaking amongst providers. As 5G will utilise higher frequency spectrum than the standard 4G spectrum, more base stations are to be installed to ensure optimal coverage. Interference from buildings and bad weather is also a big factor.
It won’t be long until 5G will be available to every consumer. According to the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, the first commercial 5G network will start to roll in 2020. And with more companies vying to be the first 5G provider, expect it to be available much earlier than expected.