It’s Much Faster
5G is the upcoming mobile communication technology, which you probably guessed from the name is coming soon in its fifth edition. The most interesting aspect of 5G is that it’s that much faster than the 4G you and I are using now. Ever since 1G was launched in the 80’s we’ve slowly improved and gotten faster mobile networks, with the latest 4G being released back in 2010. 5G is changing up the incremental data speed boosts which have been the norm until now and giving us a giant leap instead. The Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor states that they provide an average mobile data speed of 70 Mbit/s for their customers today. With 5G it’s theorized they’ll be able to provide from 14 to 100 times that speed. That’s why 5G news is all over the place now, because people are realizing what this could potentially do for businesses and emerging technologies.
La…g No More
Another reason this ‘G-update’ is going to be impactful is the drastic improvement in Latency, or in other words the communication speed between devices. As a consumer today, you might wonder why you would need better latency. And the answer to that is that you may not need it, but plenty of emerging industries do. For the companies who are building on or transitioning into technology such as; Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Autonomous Vehicles, or Streaming, 5G’s latency improvement is a game changer.
It’s going to be possible for medical professionals to perform remote surgery, by controlling the instrument in one place, and having a robot mimic their movement in another location, practically in “real time”. And real time, is the key factor here. All the technologies benefiting from 5G are being built on the premise, or should I say need for real time device communication. You won’t be able to have remote driverless cars, unless you have a massive data stream between the car and its surroundings, and you won’t be able to have a convincing wireless VR Headset, with latency. Latency is often the reason you feel nauseous with wireless headset use. Additionally, you will save energy, cut costs, and be able to handle an enormous number of connected devices with 5G. All in all, the industry is counting down the days to 5G mass adoption. And so am I, what a time to be alive!
Sliced & Diced
5G gives us another important ability. The mobile network can be split into layers which means you can handle increasingly more devices, but also group them separately. You and I, with our consumer mobile phones may use one ‘slice’, emergency services may use another, and a corporation may want to pay for their own portion. Each slice keeps its stability independently from each other, which creates a drastically more stable and safer mobile network.
It’s Possibly The Final G
It will be expensive installing new network architecture to enable 5G across the globe, and all devices need to be fitted with agreeable solutions. But 5G may perhaps become the last G, as its been designed to be improved upon with software updates alone. This means we might keep improving our 5G indefinitely, and a 6G might never happen.
It’s Coming in 2020
Apart from the industry needing to install 5G globally and decreasing the chip sizes needed, which are quite frankly too large, 5G is closing in, with most estimations putting the commercial release in 2020.
I know I’m looking forward to my ‘instant 4K movie stream in a driverless car’ experience. What about you?
Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash