Everybody loves speedy internet, so it’s no surprise that every major telecom in the world is working to make it even faster. Smartphones, watches, homes, and cars are increasingly requiring stable internet connections. In order to pipe in enough bandwidth for that precious wireless feed, we’re going to need an entirely new form of wireless signal—that’s where 5G comes in.
Similar to 4G and 3G before it, 5G is a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the proliferation of devices that need a mobile internet connection. It’s not just your phone and your computer anymore, either. Home appliances, door locks, security cameras, cars, wearables, dog collars, and so many other inert devices are beginning to connect to the web. Gartner predicts that 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. By comparison, there are currently an estimated 6.4 billion connected devices in the world. That’s a lot more devices asking for a quick connection.
To make 5G and the future of wireless internet a little easier understand, we decided to break down exactly what it is and how it will make your life better in the very near future.
What exactly is 5G?
The “G” in 5G stands for “generation.” Wireless phone technology technically started with 1G, and in the early 1990s, and it expanded to 2G when companies first started enabling people to send text messages between two cellular devices.
Eventually the world moved on to 3G, which gave people the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, and browse the internet. 4G enhanced many of the capabilities that were made possible with the third generation of wireless. People could browse the web, send text messages, and make phone calls—and they could even download and upload large video files without any issues.
Then companies added LTE, short for “long term evolution,” to 4G connectivity. LTE became the fastest and most consistent variety of 4G compared to competing technologies like WiMax. The difference between WiMax and LTE is similar to the difference between Blu-Ray and HD DVDs: Both technologies achieved similar outcomes, but it was important to create a standard for everyone to use. LTE did just that, and it made 4G technology even faster.
5G will build on the foundation created by 4G LTE. It’s going to allow people send texts, make calls, and browse the web as always—and it will dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network. 5G will make it easier for people to download and upload Ultra HD and 3D video. It will also make room for the thousands of internet-connected devices entering our everyday world. Just imagine upgrading your data connection from a garden hose to a fire hose. The difference will be noticeable.
But is 5G really that much faster than 4G?
In short: Yes. Speeds will be significantly faster. Currently, 4G LTE transfer speeds top out at about one gigabit per second. That means it takes about an hour to download a short HD movie in perfect conditions. The problem is, people rarely experience 4G’s maximum download speed speed because the signal can be disrupted by so many different things: buildings, microwaves, other wifi signals. The list goes on and on.
5G will increase download speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. That means a full HD movie can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. It will also reduce latency significantly (giving people faster load times). In short, it will give wireless broadband the capacity it needs to power thousands of connected devices that will reach our homes and workplaces.
How does it work?
There are already huge consortiums of major global telecoms working to create worldwide standards around 5G. Although most of those standards haven’t been solidified, experts expect it to be backwards compatible (with 4G and 3G) in addition to having some interoperability across the world.
In their most basic form, cell phones are basically two-way radios. When you call someone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal. It transmits that electrical signal to the nearest cell tower using radio wave. The cell tower bounces the radio wave through a network of cell towers and eventually to your friend’s phone. The same thing is happening when you send other forms of data (like photos and video) across the network.
Typically, when a new mobile wireless technology comes along (like 5G), it’s assigned a higher radio frequency. For instance, 4G occupied the frequency bands up to 20MHz. In the case of 5G, it will likely sit on the frequency band up to 6GHz. The reason new wireless technologies occupy higher frequencies is because they typically aren’t in use and move information at a much faster speed. The problem is that higher frequency signals don’t travel as far as lower frequencies, so multiple input and output antennas (MIMOs) will probably be used to boost signals anywhere 5G is offered.
What is 5G and why it will rule the world?
After 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G LTE now comes 5G. It is the fifth generation of wireless network that is expected to be launched in 2020 in India and rest of the world. 5G will be based upon the combination of the existing wireless technologies like GSM, Wi-Fi, LTE etc and the new radio access technologies.
5G will bring higher capacity than the existing 4G network. It is expected to increase the data rates beyond 1GB per second and will provide higher broadband density to the users. It is estimated that peak download rate of data will be of 20/Gbits and upload rate will be of 10G/bits. There will be low latency and low battery consumption while using 5G that means it will increase the battery life upto 10 years and reduce network energy usage by 90%. Several hundreds and thousands of computers will be able to access simultaneous connections at a very high rate. Spectral efficiency will also be increased in 5Gnetwork.
5Gnetwork will benefit the telecommunication sector to a great extent. It will provide better usage of smartphones by increasing their speed. It will introduce VR (virtual reality) and AR (Augmented reality) in smartphone sector.
5G will also bring a biggest change by starting the era of driverless smart cars and smart homes.
ADVANTAGES OF 5G
5G network will benefit not only business person but also the commoners. There are several new things that will emerge along with 5Gnetwork making it more reliable and efficient.
Here are some of the things we will be benefited with:
· Greater speed (enough to download a movie in few seconds)
· Greater capacity (1,000 times capacity of 4G)
· Reduced Latency (stop delays)
· Provide high resolution and larger bandwidth
· It will gather networks on one platform
· Lower battery consumption
· Simultaneous connections can work together
· Provide uninterrupted and consistent connectivity.
· Allow access to parallel multiple services
· Remote place access grant
· Detect natural disasters
"We are absolutely convinced that 5G is the next revolution," Tim Baxter, president of Samsung's US unit, said during a press conference.
Here's just a taste of what 5G will be able to unlock.
While companies like Google and Uber are investing in self-driving cars now, many in the industry don't believe a fully autonomous vehicle is possible without a 5G network.
"We are absolutely convinced that 5G is the next revolution." Tim Baxter, president of Samsung's US unit.
That instantly responsive network and ubiquitous coverage means the cars will be able to use 5G to talk to other cars and sensors built around the city, from street lamps to gas stations.
"It not just about the cars," Adam Koeppe, vice president of network planning for Verizon, said in an interview Monday. "It's about urban design and technology."
WHAT ADVANTAGES WILL 5G OFFER?
Each new generation of wireless technology has brought faster, more reliable cellular and internet connections. In the 1980's, first-generation technology made communication via cellphone possible. The next generation, 2G, allowed for more efficient and secure phone calls, and introduced mobile text messaging. 3G ushered in the smartphone era, and 4G/LTE gave us the high-speed connections that make it possible to stream high-definition video on our phones.
5G is projected to bring three main benefits
- Faster speed: Data transfer speeds are projected to be about 10 times higher with 5G than is possible with 4G. That means significantly faster transmission of images and videos. With 4G/LTE, downloading a high-definition movie might take about 10 minutes. With 5G, it should take less than a second.
- Shorter delays: Though it’s not always noticeable, there is often a brief lag in time from when data is sent to when it’s received. 5G should reduce this so-called latency, making it possible, for example, to watch high-speed virtual reality video with no delays or glitches.
- Increased connectivity: Cell towers equipped with 5G technology would have greatly increased capacity over 4G/LTE. That means more people — and more devices — should be able to communicate at the same time.
WILL I NEED A NEW PHONE?
Just as 2G phones couldn’t connect to 3G or 4G networks, today’s 3G and 4G/LTE phones will be unable to connect to a 5G network. So experts predict you’ll need a new phone. The cost of a 5G phone is unclear, but monthly 5G service is likely to cost more than 4G/LTE service.
WHEN WILL 5G BE AVAILABLE?
Samsung and Intel debuted 5G technology at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where it was used to stream live VR coverage of sporting events. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are continuing to develop and test 5G technology and expect 5G service to be available in some U.S. cities later this year. Access to 5G is expected to expand dramatically in 2019.