Imagine you are driving alone late at night in outskirts of the city and your internet fails to support Google Maps OR think of yourself as the girl trapped between the drifters needing to call police but your network fails to connect OR your child has gone to a school picnic in the suburbs and your connection is too slow for a video call?
Alarming instances! Aren’t they? Sometimes failure in communication is simply disastrous. Though the launch of 4G bought with it a new wave in technology, yet its limitations in certain areas and cases give rise to the requirement for the emergence of 5G technology.
Already marking its presence, the Fifth-Generation Wireless Standard better known as 5G is set to be rolling out anytime soon. So before it does, let us have an in-depth view of what can be expected from it.
According to the Next Generation Mobile Network’s 5G white paper, 5G connections must be based on ‘user experience, system performance, enhanced services, business models and management & operations’. Researchers predict that 5G will be three times faster than the current 4G standard.
Reference: A Timeline of UK 5G development.
What exactly is Fifth Generation Wireless (5G)?
5G is the fifth-generation cellular technology succeeding the ‘G’ standards of 3G and 4G. Enhancing the 4G standard that has marked its presence since 2011, the concept of 5G was first introduced in December 2017. The idea behind 5G was to outperform the available speed provided by 4G and 4G LTE.
The Fourth Generation Wireless (4G) works on IEEE 802.11n wireless standard. Though fast, the network throws latencies when in heavy usage. With the need for faster speed, a new wireless network standard 802.11ac IEEE has been built which aims at increasing data communication speed by three times than the speed of 4G.
5G recommends architecture amendments by IEEE 802.11ac, operating on 5 GHz frequency mode. Its data transmission over wireless broadband connections is designed to travel at a seemingly high rate, as high as 20 Gbps. Exceeding the speed of all the wireline networks, 5G also promises to solve latency problems (delays in data processing that leads to connection lagging). It aims at providing a latency of 1ms or even lower for real-time feedback. Due to advanced antenna technology and more available bandwidth, 5G is said to enable a rapid increase in the amount of data that gets transmitted over wireless systems.
How will 5G provide a Better network?
Wireless networks consist of cell sites that are divided into sectors for transmitting data through radio waves. The foundation of 5G is based upon 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution) wireless technology. As contrary to 4G that requires large and high-power cell towers to discharge, 5G wireless signals are built to transmit via large numbers of small cell stations that are situated in light poles or/and building tops. The use of multiple small cells is essential for 5G as it relies on the millimeter wave spectrum i.e. the band of a spectrum ranging from 30GHz up to 300GHz to generate high speeds. This spectrum is limited to travel short distances and therefore require various small cell stations.
One drawback of this spectrum is that it is subjected to get interfered through weather conditions and other physical obstacles such as buildings, and more.
What benefits should we expect from 5G?
Faster speed is, of course, the most desirable feature that people are waiting for. But apart from speed, 5G also promises many more meaningful and far-reaching implications for private users as well as industries.
Let us have a look at some of its committed the benefits.
1) Internet of Things (IoT) and Autonomous cars will become more safe, efficient, and enjoyable as 5G’s low latency will facilitate autonomous cars to constantly stay connected with devices such as other autonomous cars, traffic lights, smart city infrastructure, and more. 5G will also enable endless entertainment within the vehicle.
2) As the number of devices connected to 4G LTE are increasing day by day, people are facing strain while using the network. 5G is expected to be the rescuer as it will allow quicker transfer of large volumes of data produced by a gigantic number of connected devices. As there will be no more lagging of network problems, with 5G it will be possible to have a larger number of connected devices without bargaining with the performance speed.
3) In terms of mobile, the faster speed of 5G will open doors for new technologies and inventions to use with just a click. For starters, faster internet will improve the experience of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which are currently facing constraints in the 4G network.
4) 5G will also solve the problem of freezing of network due to bulk networking. For instance, messages or videos sent on special occasions such as new year or Christmas leads to bulk traffic causing the connection to lag or freeze. Also, lagging of connection during peak-hours is also said to be resolved.
5) Along with high speed and low latency, 5G’s major selling point is, people won’t have to spend a huge amount on installing its cables. People at home can use 5G technology through wireless connectivity such as a router. Businesses and organizations can shift to 5G with a minimal amount of investment.
6) Apart from facilitating mobiles, home networks, and autonomous cars; the future of 5G is far more promising than we could think of. As 4G gave way to Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to reach to common people, the spheres of 5G are much more widening and boundless. 5G technology aims to bring a new era of digital innovation that would bring up many ideas and changes, which are yet unthinkable.
When can we expect 5G to be available for common man’s use?
According to Technology Business Research projections, 5G user cases will began emerging between 2020 – 2025. And by 2030, the services of 5G will become mainstream enabling the benefits promised by its presence.
Though 5G wireless equipment standards are almost completed and 5G supported devices are said to be made available by 2019 (ZTE has announced its plan of launching 5G phones in the market somewhere around 2019). Due to its far-reaching benefits, we can only hope to have this technology in use as soon as possible!