5G, the fifth generation of mobile network technology, is a massive breakthrough not only in the internet speed but also in its highly reduced latency. Imagine playing real-time games like PUBG with no lag in your phone while traveling in an automated car traveling at a speed of more than 100 miles per hour. This might seem unrealistic but believe me this is the future of gaming, and everything else is on the brink of change forever with 5G.
If you look up into the corner of your phone, you’re probably accustomed to seeing a little indicator that says 4G LTE or 3G or 2G. And you have come to know that it probably has something to do with your phone’s connection to your mobile network.
G stands for generation and higher the rank of G, faster is the connection. Each generation has its own minimum connectivity speed and reliability that can classify the network to a particular generation. 1G allows us to talk to each other, 2G allows us to send messages, 3G gave us speedy data to browse the Internet and 4G LTE made it entirely a lot faster.
But all that’s gonna be soon-to-be past, because the new horizon is 5G. And while you may be thinking that 5G is simply a little faster, a bit more reliable and a little newer. It’s actually a massive breakthrough that’s gonna change the way devices hook up with the web.
Everything about 5G network technology in detail
What is the difference between 4g and 5g? (5G vs 4G)
Well first of all, it’s really fast with speed over 20 gigabits per second in wireless. It’s fast like a 100 to 250 times faster than 4G because by comparison 4G provides speeds on the average of about 10 to 20 megabits a second. So, that’s like going from streaming one Netflix movie in HD to streaming 400movies in 8k at the same time.
Speed comparison of 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G
- 1G – 2 Kbps (First analog cellular communication)
- 2G – 64Kbps (Digital Cellular communication, GSM)
- 3G – 144Kbps to 2 Mbps – Avg. 384 Kbps (Digital Broadband, EDGE)
- 4G – 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps – Mostly 100 Mbps (High Speed, LTE, Wifi)
- 5G – 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps – (Very quick response time, Real-time processing)
And while that’s really impressive, but that’s not the foremost impressive part. What sets 5g aside is its crazy low latency rate, which is the amount of delay between the sending and receiving of data. Now 4G tends to maintain the latency rate of about 100 to 200 milliseconds.
To be fair, 100 milliseconds is very fast. Human response time is about 200 to 300 milliseconds. But 5G will catch on right down to one millisecond, that’s almost real-time. Sounds Crazy yeah. And having the ability to send and receive information in what’s essentially real-time, means we can use 5G to exchange real-time interactions.
What does real-time interactions mean with 5G?
You will be ready to interact with people, objects, or characters controlled by somebody else with no lag on the other side. So, you can play a real-time first-person shooter on your phone and control virtual objects with people. At the same time place a headset and fly a drone or drive a car that’s somewhere else in the real-world.
Or better yet, let it drive itself, which might be one of the most important breakthroughs in the 5G network of self-driving cars. With high speed and relatively low latency rate automatic cars will be able to send data between each other, communicate with the traffic lights road sensors, and so on.
What’s so special about a 5G wireless technology?
Believe it, human reaction speed is 200 milliseconds and we still have accidents every day. But if your car could communicate with so many cars, around your environment, within a millisecond, then there won’t be any car accident. And, it will completely eliminate the traffic as well.
Because many self-driving cars can simultaneously go lightning-fast to your destination, with no risk that they will hit one another. All of them can know exactly where they’re in real-time and can react briskly to the actual world around them.
Autonomous or remotely controlled trains, delivery trucks even airplanes can be on the horizon within the near future. In fact, forget cars for a second and think about all robotic device surgeries that could be performed from the opposite side of the planet, with robots controlled in real-time by expert surgeons.
With the aid of 5G, the surgeons can also be assisted by other expert surgeons on the opposite parts of the planet simultaneously. That would be saving lives in situations, where time and distance are the difference between life and death.
Factories can be staffed by robots that can communicate their tasks and position to each other. Allowing them to not only do more but do it more efficiently and wirelessly over a 5g network.
Imagine a fleet of drones, flying over a field of crops, using sensors on the bottom, to sort pick feed and water individual plants all on their own. 5g will revolutionize the long run, and corporations have already spent billions to set up their networks and to fund new technologies that can use it.
Some potential problems with 5G network
But that’s not to say 5g is an ideal one. The major drawback has to do with, why it is so fast? See, 5g uses a combination of frequencies with most of the eye on the brand-new millimeter waves. The shorter waves and higher frequencies have a huge problem, they do not go very far.
Even if you’re standing pretty on the brink of the node like a couple hundred feet away. It only really travels well within direct line-of-sight. So, things like trees and walls and buildings block disrupt the high-frequency signal even if you are still on the brink of it. Rain in the air could also be a potential problem.
On a 4G network, where you can go 10 kilometers and barely lose signal, 5g maxes out on about 300 meters. And it can’t undergo walls or even bad weather like rain.
So what does that mean? Well it is a gift and a curse, having such a short signal distance means building more transmitters. A lot more transmitters like multiple transmitters, very few hundred meters in every direction. On the other hand, it also means you’ll pack 4 devices into at least one area.
However 4G allows connectivity to a million devices in five hundred square kilometers. But 5g on the other hand will allow 1million devices in one square kilometer.
Is 5g technology dangerous?
Our technology might not be environmentally friendly, but it’s always human friendly. Various cities within the UK were under trial for 5g network and till now there’s no reputable evidence that says it can hamper our health.
Our mobile network generally uses the radio wave band, which is non-ionizing by nature – meaning, It does not have sufficient energy to break apart our DNA or cause any kind of cellular damage.
However higher electromagnetic spectrum (5G radiation) can possibly be carcinogenic and can cause from brain tumors to chronic headaches. But there are strict advisory limits for exposure to even higher radiation levels. And to our grace, the radio waves are far less energetic than visible light that we experience every day. So, we should not be worried about our health concerns due to these waves.
Basically, we need more transmitters in the short-range, in order that each one can run at a lower power level than the previous 4G technology. And the UK government had also assured that the radiofrequency fields, placed near the general public, are many times below the guideline levels.
So how distant are we from reaping the benefits of 5g self-driving fleets and robot surgery, well at least a couple of years. New 5g technology is predicted to be fully unrolled in 2020. And over the subsequent two years we’ll be slowly phased in and experimented with it.
As sensors and transmitters are installed around the world, some companies like T-Mobile and Verizon have already launched home 5g networks in selected cities. But it’ll still take quite a bit of time for all the new hardware-software and brand-new innovations to work seamlessly together. Until then we’ll just need to keep dreaming of a bright new future.