The Pros and Cons of 5G – Benefits and Disadvantages

The Pros and Cons of 5G

The benefits of 5G outweighs the drawbacks

deployment of 5G technology

The battle between world powers United States and China has shifted towards the patenting and deployment of 5G technology. src

5G is the next generation of network technology, boasting high speeds, high bandwidth, and low latency.  The incredibly faster speeds of the 5G network will allow for the innovation of new technologies and newer ways to interact through the internet.

However, as with almost all things in life, 5G does have its drawbacks. While 3G and 4G networks have the ability to penetrate larger areas of our cities and villages, 5G has a much shorter reach.

The consequence of this short reach gives rise to the need to build more towers (in clusters) and add more smaller, newer cells to maintain connectivity. This means high cost of building new infrastructure for the 5G network, which could be result in extra and higher charges to the end consumer.

Nonetheless, 5G is poised to be the next step in the evolution of connectivity because its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks. However, it’s pertinent to understand what 5G has to offer to understand whether this mobile network technology is worth it in the long-term.

Pros of 5G

pros of 5G

The pros of 5G. src

  • Lightening-fast speeds
    Wit a 5G phone plan, you can expect lightening-fast download speeds. This means enjoying technology seamlessly in the realm of augmented and virtual reality, and more, when they become rampant. It will be normal to download vast amounts of data in a matter of seconds. Video buffering will become a term abandoned in the past.
  • Less tower saturation
    The cell towers housing current 4G networks are prone to congestion when so many users converge together in a single location. 5G, on the other hand, has no such saturation and capacity problems. The consequence is that users won’t feel like they’re competing amongst themselves for cell tower resources when using the internet. More bandwidth means more versatility and more possibilities to achieve far more in less time than ever before.
  • New technologies
    5G will usher the age of newer ways to carry on with our lives. The increasing data speeds will be the catalyst for groundbreaking technologies. Live streaming, video games, chip sets, medical technology, finance, e-commerce, social media, the IoT and more, will feel the impact of 5G.

Cons

Despite the many benefits of 5G, some drawbacks and concerns exist as well.

  • Building Penetration
    5G travels short distances, and it lacks the penetration power of 4G. Another range problem is that 5G can only travel in a straight line (in line with the tower). Therefore, artificial and natural obstacles that improve the quality of our lives, such as buildings and trees, could absorb or block the 5G signal. Experts also argue that rain and extreme weather conditions can significantly impede 5G signals.
  • Heat
    Devices that run on the 5G network will give off a lot of heat and run down quickly. Heat is a byproduct of battery drain. However, there is a market opportunity here. Companies will be incentivised to create battery technology that can adequately cope or thrive using the 5G technology.
  • Upload Speeds
    Although 5G works with gold standards when it comes to download speeds, upload speeds aren’t as fantastic. There’s also no significant difference in ping speeds with 5G in the range of 15ms, when compared to 4G.
  • Coverage
    Coverage remains one of the major hurdles for carriers in the deployment of the 5G network to the end consumer. To recoup the cost of building the 5G infrastructure, the networks will have to be deployed first in areas with a huge population. For the rest of the country, it will be quite a while before 5G becomes the standard for connectivity.

In sum

There’s still a long way to go before 5G is fully deployed all over the world. It is believed that by 2025, 4G will still control 45% of connected devices with 5G supporting 49%. That being said, you can still get access to 5G networks in select areas today. Each of Australia’s major networks – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – all have 5G coverage in select areas, so all you need is a 5G phone and plan.

 

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.