5G is here! Well, kind of. Industry-leading telecommunication companies Verizon and AT&T both initiated preliminary 5G services in late 2018. Right now the service is more about bragging rights and who can bring the technology to the table first. The important race begins now, since the technology is a reality.
5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, with speeds that could reach up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), edging out the current 4G technology which typically clocks in around 1 Gbps. This substantial improvement over the current wireless broadband technology can support bigger data sets and faster network connections.
Expect the big 5G applications to come full strength around 2022.
“5G is probably the biggest leap forward in terms of the life-changing nature of mobile tech. 5G isn’t simply an iteration of 4G – it presents a completely different and more powerful proposition to any of the previous generations of network standards.” Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2.
What’s so Cool About 5G?
5G brings three new aspects to the table: greater speed (to move more data), lower latency (to be more responsive), and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices).
5G is about much more than smartphones. Sensors, thermostats, cars, robots, and other new technology will all connect to 5G one day.
Who benefits from 5G?
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5G is being promoted as a technology to transform industries, including automotive, healthcare and manufacturing, by enabling smart machines to communicate with little to no lag time.
Driverless cars will need 5G to really jump into action. The first generation of driverless cars will be self-contained, but future generations will work closely with other cars and smart roads and cities to improve safety and manage traffic. The packets of information between all these sources need to be exchanged almost instantaneously for it to work properly. That’s where 5G’s sub-one-millisecond latency comes into play. Think of it this way, a packet of data shoots directly between two cars, or between a car and a smart cell on a lamppost.
Healthcare IoT devices are valuable to organizations because of the insight and monitoring services they provide. However, the more devices introduced into health IT infrastructures, the more robust and reliable the new network grid needs to be. 5G research is important to healthcare entities because the technology will allow them to embrace more IoT devices for patient monitoring and connectivity.
Many of today’s manufacturing facilities experience issues with cellular connectivity as a result of their expansive square footage, construction materials, and other things. Thick concrete walls, brick, steel beams, and other materials commonly found in warehouses can prevent cellular signals from reaching the interior spaces of these buildings. 5G technology will enhance the transition from standard manufacturing facilities to smart factories. Industry 4.0 implementations, from design to distribution, will be connected. Feedback from a customer will be fed to a designer in real time.
It will be exciting to see what kind of benefits 5G technology can bring to the table. Once the broadband technology is perfected and rolled out on a global scale, connectivity will be within milliseconds. This is a ground-breaking step, in a technologically advanced world.