5G technology will change our lives as telecommunications end-users. It is all about speed, first and foremost. This wireless telecommunications technology promises to revolutionise the way the world communicates. Everything from autonomous vehicles to surgical robots, augmented virtual reality devices, drones and, more generally, all mobile communications will be covered by a new bandwidth segment between 6 GHz and 300 GHz.
In addition, it must be said that 5G has already gained mainstream attention and is one of the most searched items in search engines. But it is not only a trend: it is also an object of great interest economically speaking. According to estimates by Gartner, (the US consultancy) the global 5G network infrastructure market revenue is expected to double by the end of the year, close to $8.1 billion.
What is 5G technology?
5G is a technology that offers the potential to meet the growing demand from consumers, businesses and industry for faster, higher capacity wireless networks. With its 100 times faster download speeds and 10 to 50 times shorter latency (the time between a cause and effect), 5G technology has all the capabilities to enable businesses across all industries to revolutionise their product and service offerings.
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5G technology is the result of an evolutionary path that began 40 years ago. It began with analogue voice, which ten years later moved on to digital (2G), SMS and the first data transmissions at 9.6 Kbps. The year 2000 saw the start of the 3G era with mobile web browsing, MMS and a 2 Mbps connection, and then some ten years later to 4G and availability in the order of 1 Gbps. 5G projects connections in the order of several Gbps.
The world in 5G will be hyper-connected, at a speed we cannot yet imagine. The infrastructure system used by the 5G network is somewhat different from the past: cells and antennas communicating with wires and fibre, but more cells and more antennas, placed at strategic points to create a denser network of cells and signal "bounces". To avoid signal interference, it was decided to use very high frequency waves, which travel in a spectrum virtually unused to date.
This "fifth generation", which follows the previous 2G, 3G and 4G, is therefore the connection technology that will be used by our smartphones, but also and above all by the many connected objects (Internet of Things) that surround us, destined to become more and more numerous (household appliances, cars, traffic lights, street lamps, watches...) One of the main characteristics of 5G is, in fact, to allow many more connections at the same time, with high speed and very fast response times.
What are the advantages of 5G technology?
Far from being reduced to a simple evolution of 4G, the fifth generation mobile network promises to be a disruptive technology, i.e. it is shaping up to be a radical overhaul. Designed to respond to the explosion of mobile traffic over much higher radio frequencies, 5G enhances existing applications related to mobile telephony and mobile internet. But above all, it opens the way to new use cases. Individuals, businesses, industries: on the way to a 100% connected society!
The first advantage of 5G is the considerable improvement in connection speed. It should enable even faster connection speeds than 4G. There is even talk of a 10-fold increase in speed. Thus, the throughput could theoretically reach 1 Gb/s in reception and 500 Mb/s in transmission. Mobile operators are already looking for the best bandwidth positioning to offer their users the highest possible speed. We are talking about Ultra-High Speed.
Another advantage of 5G is the reduction of latency. Latency represents the time that elapses between the moment a command is issued and the moment it appears on the screen. Therefore, the latency time should drop from 10 ms in 4G to 1 ms in 5G. This improvement in responsiveness offers new prospects for users. Among them is the emergence of cloud gaming. It will be easy to play console games directly on your smartphone with a smooth experience.
Streaming videos can be viewed in better quality (4K and 8K in particular). In addition, reduced latency will promote the use of augmented reality and the emergence of new types of connected objects. Another major advantage of 5G is the support for a higher density of connected devices. It is estimated that 5G's ultra-connectivity could increase the current connection density tenfold. It could then support at least one million connected devices per square metre.
How does it differ from previous technologies?
5G will redefine quality standards in terms of mobile connectivity: the widespread use of 4G, currently the best possible connection in terms of smartphones, is set to give way to connectivity so different that we can use the phone like never before. Additionally 5G will address the evolution beyond mobile internet to IoT or Internet of Things. The main evolution compared to 4G LTE today is, beyond improved speed, fast connection to objects.
Some of the differences that 5G has with indoor technology are:
5G is faster than 4G, with more bits per second travelling through the network. With the new upload and download speeds, you can download movies in seconds instead of minutes.
5G is more responsive than 4G, with lower latency times, which is the time required for communications between the device and the network. Because devices can "talk" to the network faster, data is received more quickly.
5G uses less power than 4G, as it can quickly switch to low power when the data network is not in use. This extends the battery life of devices and allows them to be charged less frequently.
5G offers a robust, faster and more reliable service than 4G thanks to better bandwidth utilisation and higher connection points. With less stress on the network, data costs can be lower than 4G.
5G can handle more devices than 4G because it expands the available radio waves. Congestion problems that cause a slowdown in services will be less frequent with the advent of 5G.
Overall, we can say that 5G is a big step forward for mobile phones and the internet of things. Think of the legendary shift from dial-up modem to high-speed broadband... so that we can now reinvent the future of mobile data.