why 5G will change the world?


5g is the latest generation of mobile networks and it's a huge step up from what we have available to us today. The jump from 3g to 4g networks was pretty huge. 4g to 5g is many times greater and is almost difficult to comprehend. 5g is an entirely new kind of network designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together be it smart devices, vehicles even industrial machinery. 5g will co-exist with existing 4g networks until coverage is expanded significantly but it will eventually evolve into a standalone network that operates independently. The appeal of 5g mostly boils down to speed and insanely fast response times referred to as latency.

Latency is the time it takes for devices to respond to each other over any wireless network. 3g networks have a response time of around 100 milliseconds, 4g hovers around 30 milliseconds while 5g networks predict latency figures as low as 1 millisecond. This virtually instantaneous communication will open up a new world of possibilities for anything with an established network connection as well as benefiting our internet experiences. The progression of emerging technologies will depend heavily on 5g living up to its expectations. Interactive technologies such as augmented reality and self-driving cars require extremely low latency to work effectively pushing 5g networks to not only hit their goal of 1 millisecond latency but to surpass it.

So how does 5g work?


5g signals operate over previously untouched radio frequencies part of the network operates in a band known as sub 6 which is the spectrum between 600 megahertz and 6 gigahertz which is a spectrum that 4g LTE also shares. However only 5g can go above and beyond these frequencies into higher bandwidths which is what makes it so much better. 5g can and will utilize a higher band of radio frequencies from 24 gigahertz to as high as 86 gigahertz, resulting in far higher data rates and performance but with the trade-off of reduced range. These new 5g radio waves can carry way more data to and from devices they just can't carry the increased load quite as far, this means that providers have to install a large number of small cellular towers in close proximity to each other to actually deliver the network.


These small cellular towers hold cell sites that are about the same size as a pizza box. They can be easily fixed to building roofs or light poles but each one has to be physically installed which is why the rollout of widespread 5g is going to take quite some time. When these cell sites are in place they'll be able to beam signals to specific locations where they are needed most. This is far better than how conventional radio towers deliver signal which is to spread it anywhere and everywhere regardless of site-specific demand. 5g operates on three different spectrum bands between 600 megahertz and 86 gigahertz, while these numbers might just sound like useless statistics they'll end up having a noticeable effect on your everyday use especially in the early days of 5g.

The three spectrum bands that your 5g network will operate on are:-

  • Low band network, which is the most common band used by carriers in the around the globe for 4g LTE. Low band spectrum offers the widest coverage and best wall penetration but it doesn't offer any great shakes in the speed department. 5g running on the low band network will only run around 20% faster than current 4g with peak data speeds topping out at around 100 megabits per second.
  • High band spectrum, which offers the highest performance for 5g, however it's not without its drawback either. High band spectrum can offer peak speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second and has almost non-existent latency but its coverage area is narrow and penetration is poor. So to utilize this network to its full potential users will have to access plenty of cells that are all relatively close by.
  • Mid band spectrum, this slots in somewhere between the two which offers a balance of both speed and coverage. Mid band provides faster speeds and lower latency than low band with peak speeds of up to 1 gigabits per second. On paper this doesn't compete with high band in terms of power but in real world use and for most applications it will be more than enough. The coverage and penetration of mid band will also make it a very reliable and consistent connection.


As I’m sure you've already grasped the most prominent advantage of 5g over previous networks is the speed. The predicted 5g speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second mean a 100 times increase in performance compared to existing 4g networks. Users of high band 5g will be able to do things like download movies in under 10 seconds as opposed to several minutes and seamlessly watch 8k 3d streams whilst out and about. Examples such as these are great for visualizing the power of 5g but it's important to remember that the speeds will also unlock the full capabilities of other emerging technologies including self-driving cars, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality and of course the internet of things.

The internet of things also known as massive machine-to-machine communications is the collective connection of billions of devices without any human intervention. This widespread connectivity has the potential to revolutionize how we do pretty much everything. The internet of things exists right now consisting of around 25 billion devices but this is said to triple by the year 2025 and then continue growing thereafter.


Another speed advantage of 5g is latency improvements, 5g latency will be around or less than one millisecond which is quicker than human visual processing. This makes it possible to control devices remotely in near real time. While communications manufacturing and logistics will all reap the rewards of lower latency, gamers will also benefit greatly from the 5g rollout. The combination of high speed connections and minimal lag is the perfect recipe for virtual reality and augmented reality applications. Industries that use these technologies are due to explode in popularity as connectivity improvements make the experiences more seamless and immersive. The connection speeds that 5g brings to the table is incredibly exciting but a huge aspect of 5g that is barely spoken about is capacity.

5g will deliver up to 1000 times more capacity than 4g, which basically means more room for connected devices and users. This combination of capacity and speed will greatly improve bandwidth which is the maximum data transfer rate of a network. 5g can transmit amounts of data that would be inconceivable on 4g LTE allowing for perfect connectivity speeds even on crowded networks. People have always struggled with connectivity in busy places such as stadiums and festivals but 5g will be able to handle the demand no problem.

Businesses also struggle with huge amounts of data that can flood in from customers and suppliers forcing them to turn away potentially useful information. 5g will facilitate a large influx of data at any given time giving businesses the opportunity to turn previously untapped volumes of data into actionable market knowledge. There are a ton of good things to say about 5g making it even stranger, that it's being discussed frequently for reasons that you wouldn't expect.


There are many groups of people who believe that 5g is a toxic technology due to its microwave spectrum radiation and that it's going to slowly kill us all without realizing. Concerns surrounding cellular radiation are by no means new and truth be told nobody knows for sure how safe any cellular technology is let alone 5g. 5g does emit microwave radiation but so does anything that uses 4g, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The reason why there's so much concern surrounding 5g is because of the higher frequencies that it operates at bumping 5g radio waves further up the spectrum towards UV Rays, x-rays and gamma rays that we know to be harmful.

Despite countless people being incredibly difficult to convince, scientific evidence shows that even the highest 5g frequencies sit way and I mean way below the types of harmful radiation that are considered unsafe for continuous exposure. So the only real downsides of 5g appear to be increased battery drain due to network technology improving quicker than battery technology. However this issue is sure to be addressed and rectified within the next generation or so of smartphones.


Underwhelming upload speeds which are only underwhelming when you compare them to the huge download speeds that 5g offers. Upload speeds of 5g will still be far superior to 4g LTE the jump just won't be quite as significant and lack of widespread coverage. Currently 5g coverage is only available in defined areas of specific cities but the expansion will start to gain momentum again as we move beyond the restrictions of the 2020 pandemic. Carriers will start by extending their network coverage in areas with the greatest population and most users. If you live or work in a big city 5g will probably be all around you before you know it.

5g is already in over 100 cities across the US with some benefiting from 5g plans if you spend your day somewhere a little more rural then it might be some time before you can make the most out of 5g but it will get you eventually. Full scale 5g rollout is expected to commence sometime around 2025. The price of data plans will also increase for the early adopters of 5g contracts which will get a little annoying if you keep finding your smartphone falling back on 4g networks but that's definitely to be expected during 5g's early infancy.

“The bottom line of 5g is that it's safe, fast and undoubtedly going to change the connected world as we know it”

 


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4 Comments

  1. This is alot of information to process regarding the 5G upgrade that will be happening over the next couple of years. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  2. Thank you for the appreciation 😇

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