What is 5G? The Basics of the 5th Generation

What is 5G

What is 5G? The Basics of the 5th Generation

By now, you may have come to the realization that almost everything is possible with the internet. Plus, with the internet of things, which most companies now are implementing. Life has been made easier and more convenient. Both for the old and young generation. Since we are at this globally changing and innovative age, technology, of all things, is expected to be evolving. About several decades ago, we were first introduced to the Internet. Now, it seems to be becoming better as several companies are now anticipating 5G – which bring us to the question: What is 5G?

Everybody loves speedy internet. No wonder why the objective of every telecommunications company is to make it even faster. With knowledge and upon using 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, one cannot help but ask: What is 5G and how is it any different from all the others? While many are already satisfied with their 3Gs and 4G, there are still many who are ecstatic about what 5G is.   

Nowadays, when smartphones, watches, homes, and cars are accessible via internet. It would not be a surprise if people would need a more stable and a faster internet connection. To be able to pipe in enough bandwidth for everything we need to do online. An entirely new form of wireless signal is needed – hence, 5G.

Like 3G and 4G, 5G is a wireless connection specifically built to keep up with the continuous increase of devices that need an internet connection. Before, when someone mentions internet, it is tied up to the personal computers and mobile phones alone. Now, with the internet of things, home appliances, door locks, security cameras, cars, wearable gadgets, and even pet collars, and many other devices are beginning to connect to the web. Presently, there are currently an estimated 6.4 billion connected devices all over the world. Predictions from Gartner’s studies show, that by 2020, there will be an estimated 20.8 billion devices that will be connected to the internet.

The Wireless Generation

Now it is important to note that the Gs in 3G, 4G, and 5G stand for “generation”. In 1990s, when wireless phone technically started, it was just 1G. Then it expanded to 2G when companies first started enabling people to send text messages between two cellular devices. Eventually, we moved on to 3G, which then allowed people to make phone calls, send text messages, and browse the internet. With the arrival of 4G came the enhancements of the many capabilities that were made possible by the third generation of wireless. People can not only call, text, and browse the web, but also download and upload large video files without any issues. Then telecom companies added LTE, short for “Long Term Evolution” to the 4G connectivity. At present, LTE is the fastest and most consistent variety of 4G.

What exactly is 5G?

The 5G network is the next generation of mobile connectivity. It promises to offer faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices. With several studies and researches and recent advancements in technology, 5G will thus be offering connections that are way faster than the current connections we are enjoying. With 5G networks, an average download speed of 1GBps is expected to be the norm.

5G will build on the foundation created by 4G LTE. Certainly, it will allow users to send texts, make calls, and browse the web as always – yet 5G will dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network.

How does 5G work?

Similar to other cellular networks, 5G networks use a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. Each of these cell sites must then be connected to a network backbone – either through a wired or a wireless backhaul connection.

5G networks will use OFDM, a type of encoding which is similar to the encoding used by 4G LTE. However, the air interface will be designed for a much lower latency and a greater flexibility than LTE. The standard will work all the way from low frequencies to high, but it gets the most benefit over 4G at higher frequencies.

5G networks will be more likely a network of small cells – as small as home routers, than huge towers similar to the ones we currently have. This may be credited to the nature of the frequencies used, but a lot of it is to expand network capacity. The more cells one has, the more data one can get into the network.

It is assumed that 5G networks will be a lot smarter than the previous and current systems as the network will juggle more and smaller cells that change size and shape. However, as per Qualcomm, with the existing macro cells, 5G will still be able to boost capacity up to four times over the current systems by leveraging wider bandwidths and advanced antenna technologies.

Is 5G really faster than the current connections?

Obviously, yes. Speeds will be significantly faster. At present, the transfer speeds of 4G LTE are at about one gigabit per second. Simply put, it will take you an hour to download the newest movie in HD and other perfect conditions. Now, that one hour is just an estimate. People usually have problems when it comes to experiencing 4G’s maximum download speed.

Signal disruptions caused by buildings, microwaves, other Wifi signals and so many more have continuously become sources of such problem. With 5G, there is an estimated increase of 10 gigabits per second for the download speed. That means a full HD movie can be downloaded in a span of seconds and/or minutes – we’re no longer talking about hours here. Moreover, 5G will reduce latency significantly, thus giving people faster load times. Thus, it will give wireless broadband the capacity it needs to power thousands of connected devices that will reach our homes and workplaces.

How will 5G affect us?

If you typically depend on the internet for at least fifty percent of your errands, business, and leisure activities, then 5G’s difference will indeed be noticeable. 5G will make it easier for you to download and upload Ultra HD and 3D videos. More importantly, it’s going to be able to make room for the thousands of internet-connected devices entering our everyday world. Well, to put it simply and more visually – think of your current internet connection as a garden hose. With 5G, that garden hose becomes a fire hose – sure is a lot of and a noticeable difference, yes?

The goal of 5G is to have higher speeds available and far higher capacity per sector. 5G home internet shows a major advantage over the existing network connection- and that is, huge capacity. Carriers cannot offer competitively priced 4G home internet because there is not just enough capacity on 4G cell sites for the 190 GB of monthly usage most homes now expect. 5G could gradually increase home internet competition in the US. According to a 2016 FCC report, 51 percent of Americans only have one option for 25Mbps or higher home internet service.

5G home internet will also be a whole lot easier for carriers to roll out than house-by-house fiber optic lines. Instead of digging up every street, carriers just have to install fiber optics to a cell site every few blocks and give customers wireless modems.

What is 5G for?

Aside from our smartphones and the home internet service, 5G is also projected to make possible the following: a game streaming service; a way to do stroke rehab through virtual reality; smart bandages that track one’s healing; and a way for parents to interact with babies who are stuck in incubators.

Phones may transform into devices meant to be used with virtual technology headsets or other devices. The low latency and consistent speeds of 5G will give people an internet-augmented world.

Since we are anticipating driverless cars, 5G would also come in handy for this type of innovation. The first generation of driverless cars will be self-contained. However, future generations will interact with other cars and smart roads to improve safety and manage traffic. It’s like everything on the road – from people to devices – will be talking to one another.

Another aspect of 5G is that it has the capability to connect more devices. As of this writing, 4G modules are expensive, power-consuming, and demand complicated service plans. 5G networks will accept small, inexpensive, low-power devices. So it can connect a lot of smaller objects and different kinds of sensors to the internet.

When will 5G be available?

Some telecommunications companies are now at the testing phase of 5G internet. In fact, it is already available in some test locations around the United States. Although at its infancy stage, 5G will not be available in the market anytime soon. Most experts predict that 5G won’t be widely available until 2020. But it will be truly worth the wait. Along its promising latency and speed. There’s no denying that 5G will really up the way of life of every American.

Everybody agrees that speedy internet is a necessity in this day and age. With 5G, the importance of a quick connection is only going to increase. Since we are already in the age where internet of things is becoming the new normal. Blazing fast internet is going to become one of our basic necessities.

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