5G: It’s Not Just About The Speed

5G: It’s Not Just About The Speed

If you work in the telecommunication industry and haven’t heard the word 5G, you probably want to check your daily news source. Although 5G is far from being a reality, there is continuous research and discussion about this technology that will completely change the way we interact with each other and devices.

What is 5G? Since industry experts are still trying to piece together the standardization of 5G, this question is hard to answer. We are aware of two key goals for 5G that will help us to have a conceptual understanding of the next generation in the telecommunication technology industry: • Drastically increasing data speed: 5G will achieve a peak downloading speed of 10Gbp/Sec, 10 times faster than 4G • Ultra-low latency: 5G is able to reduce the latency (the time a device will take to send a packet of data to another device) to 1 millisecond, 1 fiftieth of current speed of 4G

Applications for 5G With 5G, an 8-gigabyte HD movie can be downloaded in 6 seconds and mobile health condition tracking devices will make real time health care possible.

But 5G is not just about the speed, it is also a smart network.

The intelligence of this network will better manage the growing trends of the Internet of Things. For example, faster data speed and low latency that 5G offers makes it possible for a surgeon to control a robot to conduct sophisticated surgeries on brains and hearts remotely. Another advantage of 5G is that it can support different types of wearables, such as smart watches, smart home gadgets and health trackers. This turns the Internet of Things into the Internet of Everything and enhances machine-to-machine communication.

Challenges for 5G In addition to technology problems in standardization of 5G, one of the challenges we have is the network infrastructure not able to support such high speed data transfer. Because 5G has a higher frequency than 4G, more cells must be installed. This means more network infrastructures, such as base towers, are needed, not the most welcoming project in some cities and urban areas. Other issues, including battery lifetime, coverage and stability are on our table to consider about this next generation of technology.

South Korea is expecting to have a trail 5G network by 2017 and full coverage by 2020. Will this new technology change the way the world functions with devices and communication? Or bring up more questions? We shall see.