5G is the next generation of mobile network technology that follows 4G. Like all previous generations, 5G aims to make mobile communication faster and more reliable with more and more connected devices.
Unlike years ago, when mobile networks have only required mobile phones to surf the Web and to send text messages, Now, we have all kinds of devices that require bandwidth, like our HD broadcast smartphones, the data plan clocks, security cameras always active, self-contained and connected to the Internet, and other promising devices such as health sensors and AR and VR types of hardware.
Because billions of devices are connected to the network, the entire infrastructure must adapt to a lot of traffic, in order to allow not only faster connections, but also to simultaneous connections more easily and provide broader coverage for these devices.
How is 5G different from the other generations?
5G is simply the next generation numbered after 4G, which has replaced all previous technologies.
1G- introduced the analog voice
2G- introduced the digital voice
3G- has inaugurated mobile data
4G- paved the way for the widespread use of mobile Internet
What will 5G be used for?
This might seem obvious given that smartphones are omnipresent, but while phones are definitely one of the major players in mobile communication, they may not be the main focus in a 5G network.
The key components with 5G are ultra-fast connections and minimal delays. While this is certainly ideal for anyone who is broadcasting video from your phone, it is more important in scenarios where minimizing delays is very important, as in the future of interconnected devices.
An application could be augmented reality devices or virtual reality headsets. These devices require a huge amount of bandwidth and must communicate on the Internet as quickly as possible to provide the desired effects. Any latency can have a drastic impact on how real things are felt in those environments.
The same applies to any other device, such as stand-alone system controlled cars to avoid sudden collisions and understand the correct step-by-step instructions, the hardware managed by the remote control and the robotic systems that learn or conform to the remote controls.
That said, the 5G will open the way for a smoother connection from our everyday devices, such as when playing games, making video calls, streaming movies, downloading files, sharing HD and 4K media, receiving real-time traffic updates, vlogging, etc. .
5G is so fast that it will not be available only for mobile devices. It has the potential to even replace your cable through fixed wireless access.
How will 5G work?
The 5G standards have not yet been consolidated and service providers will not necessarily use the same technology to implement 5G, so it’s hard to say exactly how it will work for each company in each country.
For example, in some cases, the 5G will transmit data at a completely different frequency range from existing networks. This higher range of waves is called millimeter waves, which operate in the range from 30 GHz to 300 GHz (current networks use bands below 6 GHz).
What makes this significant is that instead of a multitude of devices sharing a small space in that spectrum, they can “extend” on that line and use more bandwidth, which means faster speeds and fewer interrupted connections.
However, even if these higher frequency waves can carry more data, they can not transmit even the lowest, so some providers, in particular, T-Mobile, will provide 5G in the 600 MHz spectrum to start, and then other possible bands as the time.
Providers that use higher frequencies may have to place small wireless stations between 5G towers to repeat data in order to provide 5G speeds and at the same time cover more distances.
Instead of transmitting signals all the way to reach nearby devices, these stations will probably use what is called beamforming to direct signals to specific targets.
This type of configuration should allow faster transmissions, not only because there will be a certain number of stations to help re-transmit data at maximum speed, but because the signals will not have to physically move to reach other devices. This device-to-device communication is what will enable low latency.
Once the 5G is here and widely available, it could be the last major breakthrough in mobile networks. Instead of using a 6G or a 7G later, we can simply keep the 5G but get some improvements over time.
When will the 5G come out?
The time period for the availability of the 5G service depends not only on where you live but also on the service providers available in your area.