Almost everyone you know has cellular networks connections on their phones, and you’ve probably activated 2G, 3G and 4G at least at one point in your life. And now, after hitting the market at the end of 2018, we can add 5G to the mix. If you’ve already activated 5G on your phone and see no major difference, don’t worry, because neither have we. But we anticipate 2022 to be a big year for 5G, with the introduction of the much talked about C-band.
Here’s everything you need to know about 5G — what 5G is, how it works, how 5G will be different and more efficient than the previous generations of mobile networks and its benefits.
What is 5G?
Quite literally, 5G stands for the fifth-generation mobile network. Its predecessors include 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G networks. The release of 5G was meant to be revolutionary. However, it seems what people expected 5G to be and what it turned out to be were two completely different things.
5G was supposed to create a new kind of network — one that was able to virtually connect everything and everyone — machines, objects and devices. At the moment, 5G technology enables higher multi-Gbps data speeds, higher download speeds, the lowest latency levels, a massive network capacity, and overall, a more efficient user experience.
However, we expect to see even bigger changes as we experienced with the previous generations of mobile networks. For example, 4G phones appeared in the US in 2010, but many of the 4G applications and features were introduced much later. And we can anticipate some prominent transitions in 2022 as 5G technology becomes more widespread.
How does 5G technology work?
Wireless communication systems use frequency to transfer and receive information and data. Similar to the previous generations of cellular networks, 5G also uses radio waves to send encoded data. However, these ones are less cluttered and are also known as millimetre waves. This helps carry data at a much faster rate and enables higher multi-Gbps data speeds.
When sending data over large distances, physical objects such as houses, trees and buildings can easily become a nuisance. To overcome this issue, 5G networks use multiple antennae to help boost signals and capacity across the wireless network. 5G technology also uses smaller transmitters that can be placed on buildings to street furniture, which helps support more connected devices — extremely useful in high-traffic areas, where 4G is known to “choke up”.
How is 5G different from the previous generations of mobile networks?
What makes 5G better? Well, 5G networks bring three significant features to the table, things that the previous generations — 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G — lacked.
1. Bigger channels to help speed up data.
2. Lower levels of latency to reduce fluctuations and increase responsiveness.
3. Multiple device connections
1G was an analog cellular network and based on the ability to use a phone in a car or anywhere away from home, whereas 2G technologies were the first of their kind — digital cellular technologies. As for the introduction of 3G and 4G technologies and the smartphones that came with them, the major difference between them and 5G technology is the speed. 3G technology brought about speeds from 200kbps to a few megabits per second, and 4G boasted megabit and even giga-bit level speeds. And 5G technology is about to surpass all of this by offering quicker downloads, lower lag (good news for gamers!) and an overall positive change in how we work, live and play.
Benefits of 5G
5G technology is proving to be more and more life-changing by the day. Say goodbye to high latency levels and lag in high-traffic areas, such as shopping malls or college campuses. 5G’s massive fibre network not only guarantees the fastest speeds but an increased level of responsiveness too. And, we still have the C-Band spectrum to look forward to — broader coverage and faster speeds.
With 5G’s low latency and lag, drone delivery and cloud-connected traffic control become very possible realities. Remote pilots will be able to control drone devices and vehicles from a distance without having to worry about lag due to 5G’s increased bandwidth. Not to mention, the enhancements in entertainment and the next-level gaming, the possibilities are endless.
With 5G and its increased speeds, self-driving vehicles, which interact with other smart devices such as smart traffic lights, roads, will become more reliable. They require a strong, low-latency network such as 5G with a low risk of collisions.
Have you ever wanted to watch something live, but your videos get stuck while buffering? Not only will 5G networks solve any buffering issues, but you can also access high-quality camera views during a game, as Verizon portrayed with an NFL experience. With 5G, you can now experience the real-life thrill and passion of the game from the comfort of your home.
One of 5G’s most prominent benefits and major applications is home internet. Companies like T-Mobile and Verizon offer their home internet services based on their 5G networks. Are 5G networks able to replace the flawless technology utilized in creating Mesh Wifi systems? Head over to What are Whole-Home Mesh Wifi Systems, and make your verdict.