The sole thought of 5G elicits excitement for tech enthusiasts. The technology that has been in the making for over a decade now finally seems to be ready for launch. Even now 5G is rolling out in carefully selected cities. The more extensive rollout is expected in 2020. However, there is still a lot of questions, as many would like to have a better idea about what they can expect from 5G.
What Is 5G?
The 5G is an abbreviation for the fifth generation of wireless telecom technology. The idea behind 5G networks is not only in providing faster connectivity speeds but also to improve reliability. For the most part, we expect 5G to power and interconnect devices, machines, and objects. It will definitely play a significant role in the adoption of the Internet of Things as well as deliver greater efficiency in terms of performance.
How 5G Differs from 4G
The main difference between 5G and 4G lies in technology. Unlike 4G, 5G operates on three broad-spectrum bands — low, mid and high. The low band spectrum provides great penetrative power and a top speed of 100 Mbps. The mid-band spectrum has lower latency and faster coverage, but it also has lower penetrative power; the top speed is 1 Gbps. The high band, also called millimeter wave, has top speeds up to 10 Gbps and low latency. The only drawback is a very low coverage area that it can serve.
The 4G tech brought many opportunities and sparkled the era of smartphones. 5G, similarly, will bring even more chances. It will improve broadband service, and serve as a platform for devices and services. Not to mention it will connect new industries and play a transformative role in sectors such as automotive and electrical. Autonomous cars are the first thing that comes to mind.
The most apparent difference between 4G and 5G is the speed. 5G is approximately ten times faster than 4G. With speeds up to 10 Gbps, we could download full-length HD movies within just a few seconds. And with the faster transfer of data, we can all become better connected.
Why People Are Excited About 5G
5G will make many things possible. From autonomous cars to smart cities, all could be powered with 5G technology. Health care is another industry that will benefit from highly reliable communications. It could revolutionize precision surgery, physical therapy with AR and even enable remote surgery in the future.
When Is 5G Coming?
3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), the standards body that defines 5G, has sped up the development of the technology. Verizon started offering pre-standard 5G in areas like Houston, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Many of these deployments have used fixed wireless, very similar to wireless broadband used in homes. In fact, according to Verizon’s CES 2019 keynote earlier this year, the carrier demonstrated speeds of 900 Mbps, although slightly short of expected gigabit speeds.
Therefore, much of 5G’s implementation has happened on a small scale and also on a trial basis. Another point to note is that much of the technology is still an advanced version of 4G LTE and true 5G has yet to take flight truly.
5G is going to revolutionize all sectors. The excitement over 5G technologies will touch all of us in one way or the other. Here we have tried to explore some of the fundamental questions asked about 5G, but there will be a lot of new questions raised every day. Before long, you’ll be able to learn the details of 5G firsthand!