5G, the newest generation of wireless technology, is expected to change how we live and work.
It will be faster and capable of handling more connected devices than the current 4G LTE network.
To some, 5G technology promises better cellular capabilities and enhanced broadband. To others, 5G holds the key to shaping the future of virtually every industry.
From manufacturing plants maintained by robots to cars that can diagnose problems and repairs themselves automatically, the new technology is set to become the basis of all things connected.
5G technology is now live in over sixty countries. And more nations are set to deploy fully functional, nationwide 5G in the coming days.
Why all the buzz around 5G technology? …well, because 5G benefits are expected to drive transformative technologies not just for consumers but also for businesses, health care, gaming, and everything in between.
The Evolution of 5G
Here’s a brief breakdown of the 5G evolution and how previous technologies wireless fared:
- 2G era 1991 to 2001 – 2G primarily focused on transferring voice, MMS, SMS, and fax services.
- 3G era 2001 to 2009 – 3G introduced media streaming, conference calls, browsers, mobile TV, and apps.
- 4G LTE era 2010 to 2019 – Enriched user experience with HD mobile TV, gaming services, IP telephony, and video conferencing.
Much of the hype around 5G wireless technology revolves around speed. The question then is:
How Fast is 5G Really?
5G technology is fast. It is 4 times faster than the 4G technology. With the ability to deliver optimum data rates of 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), the technology can download a full 8K movie 50o% faster than 4G LTE.
According to the RootMetrics report, Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband 5G is the fastest on the planet. It offers download speeds of 1.0 Gbps. With such speeds, you can download a 600MB video in a blistering 34 seconds, compared to 2.3 minutes on LTE.
Furthermore, you will spend 3 hours less when downloading a Spotify library of 10,000 songs over 5G.
Even so, there are other 5G benefits. The technology will offer greater bandwidth, enabling it to handle more connected devices than previous networks. The ripple effect is that you can enjoy stable services in crowded areas.
Also, 5G will reduce latency. For starters, latency is the duration it takes for a cellphone or connected device to request a server and get a response. 5G will reduce the time to zero.
On top of that, the technology will make communication with cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services faster and easier.
Under Which Circumstances is 5G Speed Affected?
While 5G benefits aren’t in doubt, it turns out there are several factors that can influence the speed. These include;
The Number of the Base Transceiver Stations
The speed of your 5G connection may vary depending on the amount of bandwidth allocated for every connection channel between your phone’s modem and your carrier’s cellular infrastructure.
Your Phone Model
You’re better off with a smartphone that supports 5G to reap the benefits that come with the new technology.
Flagship smartphones from major brands, including Samsung and Apple, offer 5G connectivity, so getting one shouldn’t be a problem. Several carriers also support 5G.
More phone manufacturers and carriers are expected to come on board as the 5G wireless rollout continues.
The type of 5G signal being used – low-end, sub-6 GHz, or millimeter wave (mmWave) can significantly affect the range and speed of 5G wireless technology.
mmWave, for example, offers weak penetration and an ultra-short range hence relatively lower speeds.
Ideally, you want to be in a location with minimal obstructions to leverage 5G speed and range. For instance, you’re likely to experience higher speeds if you’re in an office in a high-rise building than a basement.
The Future of 5G
5G wireless technology, at its core, is about three new things – faster connections, faster access to the cloud, and of course, faster speeds. As you can see from the image below, 5G will improve our lives in more ways than one.
On top of that, 5G technology will upgrade our lives by enabling the following:
5G will revolutionize daily commute, especially in densely populated cities with high traffic congestion.
The technology is expected to help ease traffic jams by at least 40%. You can also anticipate 5G-powered smart parking, eliminating the need to look for parking once and for all.
5G technology will abolish borders and enable doctors to reach patients from every corner of the world. Potential transformative medical advancements aided by 5G include telemedicine, AI diagnostics, and robotic surgeries.
5G is set to make far-reaching changes in the gaming industry. For one, low latency will finally put an end to the “lag.”
Further, 5G technology will emancipate gamers from the shackles of gaming consoles as cloud gaming takes over.
Any player can access and participate in gameplay with cloud gaming servers, whether they own an expensive gaming computer or a simple tablet.
5G is expected to transform agriculture with IoT devices that can monitor livestock to make sure they’re healthy and nourished.
You can also look forward to drones and sensors monitoring crop production through real-time data collection on various factors that affect crop growth, including humidity, temperatures, and soil quality.
Through 5G communication, vehicles can be linked to a smart traffic management system. That way, it becomes easier to exchange information such as destination, speed, and location.
Also, drivers can leverage omni-directional messaging to know about the current road conditions and potential hazards in advance.
According to industry trade group GSMA, about 50% of mobile connections will be 5G by 2025.
While that may be a couple of years from now, the new technology carries the potential to change the course of human history and life in general.
When fully implemented, humans can work smarter and enjoy a host of other 5G benefits that aren’t possible with 4G and 3G technology.
Sure, 5G is the future. However, some gray areas still need to be explored to make sure the technology will be indeed life-changing.