The world is abuzz with talk about 5G and it’s set to be the biggest technological leap we can expect this year. Beyond all the promises of lightning fast internet, what more can we expect? It’s also worth exploring the various avenues of newer technology that can be made possible thanks to 5G.
But first let’s start with a primer on the generations of mobile networks.
How did we get to 5G?
1G was the first generation of mobile networks that was deployed in Japan in 1979 and then rolled out around the rest of world in 1980. This generation of mobile networks relied solely on analog radio systems hence users could only make calls and do nothing more.
2G was the first mobile generation to make a switch over to using digital signals which greatly improved its capacity. This set base for 3G, a mobile generation that revolutionized the capabilities of cell phones and is still actively used today.
4G, which currently stands as the most recent generation, offers data speeds 5 times that of 3G. The better latency, higher voice quality and better support for social media platforms has made 4G a roaring success.
What’s the hype around 5G all about?
The biggest upgrade you can look forward to with 5G is speed. 3G offered a speed of 14.4 MB/second which increased to 300 MB/second with a maximum of 1 GB/second. With 5G you can expect a whopping top speed of 10 GB/second.
From a user point of view, YouTube and Netflix speeds on 4G are already high enough for convenient viewing so it maybe a little difficult to fathom the difference made by an even higher speed.
But top speeds of 10GB/second gives us a chance to think bigger and bring some cutting edge technological innovations to life.
Can 5G make our futuristic sci-fi dreams a reality?
The lightning fast speed of 5G makes a lot of innovations more realistic and easily executable. Here are some key innovations to look forward to:
- Telemedicine: Technology has already revolutionized the healthcare industry immensely and we can look forward to bigger advancements with the launch of 5G. Telemedicine will enable good quality healthcare to reach remote locations and lesser privileged parts of the world. Virtual operating rooms could also become a reality eventually.
- Tactile internet: The launch of 5G can bring in a game changing development to the online realm. This development would add a tactile layer to our digital experience. By enabling tactile and haptic sensations on interconnected devices, the internet we know can be taken to an entirely new level.
- Machine to Machine technologies(M2M): The possibility of developing a smarter lifestyle becomes far more achievable with 5G. We’re moving towards a world of interconnected devices, we aren’t just talking about cellphones and tablets, we’re talking about a world where all electronic equipment connects online. This can be taken a step further with machines directly connecting and interacting with each other without human intervention. Higher data transmission rates and lower latency of 5G networks can support some mission critical communication that can lead to a greater degree of automization.
When can we expect 5G?
5G is expected to be rolled out this year around the world. In the UAE, we expect the deployment of 5G to happen in time for Expo 2020.
However, devices that support 5G might be limited, Apple announced that it will wait till 2020 to release an iPhone that supports 5G. In general, you can expect devices that support 5G to be rolled out gradually.
Even so, we’re eagerly waiting for the day we can see 5G displayed on the top of our screens.