It could take up to 10 years before we can enjoy the full potentials of 5G, but the technology is already breaking new grounds in its nascence src
Beyond the 5G Hype
4G networks were not originally designed to handle the manifold increase in traffic and mobile applications that we’re currently witnessing. But 5G, the fifth generation of mobile connectivity, brings a much needed expansion in the capacity of mobile networks.
According to a groundbreaking study by Qualcomm, by 2035 – when the adoption 5G will have gone into full swing across the globe – 5G will enable the creation of economic values worth $13.2 trillion and support over 22.3 million new jobs.
Many countries are already gearing up to gain first-mover advantages with the new technology. 5G will provide users with blistering download speeds, greater capacities, and nearly nonexistent latency.
In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about 5G as it begins to shape the world around us.
What is 5G?
5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology. Compared to previous generations, it comes with greater bandwidth capacity, faster speeds up to 100 times that of LTE networks, and low to zero latency. This all means the ability to power connectivity across virtually everything, from consumer devices to industrial machinery, making IoT and other technologies more efficient and scalable.
The network’s massive bandwidth utilizes spectrum resources from lower bands like 4G’s sub-3 GHz to mmWave 100 GHz and beyond. As such, 5G can provide the advantages of 4G like wide coverage and wall penetration without limitations like latency and lower speeds.
For instance, Sprint’s 5G network uses a mid-band spectrum which enables faster speeds and lower latency, but poorer wall penetration compared to lower bands. The carrier then utilizes Massive MIMO – single-cell towers that integrate multiple antennas to generate multiple simultaneous beams – to enhance penetration.
Also, with a host of new 5G NR air interface design techniques such as a self-contained TDD subframe design, 5G can empower services in industries which previous generations cannot support.
How 5G compares to previous generations
5G offers all the advantages of the previous generations without their limitations. src
- A Unified platform:
Unlike previous generations, 5G supports all types and spectrum bands, from licensed to unlicensed, shared, low, mid, and high. It also supports a wider range of deployment models, (including traditional macro-cells and hotspots) and newer interconnections such as device-to-device and multi-hop mesh.
- More efficient use of spectrums:
Not only does 5G support every type and spectrum band, it’s also designed to maximize every ounce of spectrum from low to mid and high bands.
- Faster speeds:
The average data rates of 5G comes in at around 100 Mbps, while peak speeds can reach up to 20Gbps.
- Greater traffic capacity:
5G’s capacity is up to 100x greater than that of 4G, making it more suitable for dense urban settlements. A 5G network tower can handle traffic from as many as 1 million devices per square kilometer.
- Lower network latency:
5G’s lower latency allows for instantaneous signal transmission. At just 1ms, 5G’s end-to-end latency is over 10 times lower than that of 4G.
- Network slicing:
This feature makes it possible to dedicate fragments of a 5G network to a specific service.
5G operations support antenna movements across a wide pivot. 5G base stations can operate with mobility of up to 310 mph.
Ways 5G will make the most impact on our daily lives
- Superior broadband:
5G is poised to elevate our experiences with fixed and mobile broadband.
- Improvement for metro areas:
People in major metropolitan areas will benefit the most from this enhanced broadband experience, as LTE capacities in most of these areas are being maxed out.
- Autonomous vehicles:
We can expect autonomous vehicles to emerge in tandem with the rollout of 5G across major cities. 5G will empower vehicles to exchange information with other vehicles and services in real-time to provide drivers with information about road conditions.
- Smart cities:
5G will empower smart services and facilities that harness sensors and actuators that transmit and receive information about the environment, from smart buildings to smart streets.
- Health care:
5G’s ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) could revolutionize healthcare, fueling advancements in telemedicine, massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC), AR-supported physical therapy, precision surgery, and remote surgery.
5G will facilitate the operations of IoT systems comprising sensors and actuators across various industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, building management, and a whole lot more.
Final words – The 5G revolution is on
You should be on the lookout for when 5G will hit your neighborhood, if it hasn’t already. Companies and governments are keen on harnessing the immense economic and technological benefits that accompany 5G. The rollout of 5G will bring about a departure from low-capacity connectivity that’s common across regions today, and open the door to vast improvements in several industries and newer technologies like artificial intelligence and the IoT.