We have all heard the term 5G, but what does that mean? What are the benefits? When are we going to see it and be able to take advantage of it? These are all great questions, and there is a lot behind the technology scene that you might not be aware of that is driving the real meaning of 5G. 5G is the next generation of cellular service; we have gone through 1G to 4G now the big four cellular companies are rolling out 5G across the country. Is it more marketing hype than reality at this point that is the question we are going to cover?
First, let’s talk about the three types of 5G, low-band, mid-band, and high-band. Which at this point, they are not compatible with each other, and they have different performance characteristics from each other. According to PC Magazine, who has been testing each of these as they have become available the most widely available 5G which is low-band, does not perform much better or differently than the current 4G networks. The expectation right now based on the massive infrastructure upgrades that have to be completed to support mid-band and high-band 5G is that it won’t be more mainstream until sometime in 2022.
As 5G continues to get rolled out across the country and around the world, it is going to have many advantages over the current 4G standard.
- Improved data speeds reaching 10GBps or higher; this will greatly improve the overall user experience and allow improved downloading and uploading of applications, access to web-based resources, and picture uploads.
- 5G is also going to offer the ability to experience much higher video resolution, which for web applications, videos, and it should be a huge benefit for online gamers.
- 5G also is going to offer that immediate connection and release for smartphones and mobile devices. This should improve the latency on the 5G network by decreasing the overall load on the infrastructure network.
- The plan for 5G is a global network upgrade that could improve the overall uniformity of the network, along with providing consistent and uninterrupted connectivity around the world.
- 5G should provide better overall and easy to manage the network.
The 5G upgrades are ongoing now; however, don’t panic; this is a long-term rollout, and it is really at this point, not heavy consumer-ready. At this point, there are some problems that still need to be solved. As we have all seen the big four phone companies are marketing right now and starting to fight over customers, this is primarily due to the overall cost of the equipment and the technical expertise that is required to perform the upgrades on such a large scale so starting to show revenue from the 5G investment is becoming important to the big four. Other issues are 5G Smartphones and mobile devices are expensive at this point, so not jumping on the bandwagon right now might hold some financial incentives. There is also the question of security and privacy; these are both issues at this point with 5G and for corporations, this should be a concern, it will get solved but it is going to take some time. At this time, 5G does have some coverage issues, and it is affected by the penetration of walls and buildings, plant life, rain and weather conditions so this will get better as time goes on.
5G is going to change the world as we know it, it is going to make a lot of the movie wish list items come to reality, and it is going to open up many opportunities to improve on existing technology and speed up the discovery of new and emerging technologies. The improvement in bandwidth is going to greatly improve the overall user experience when using mobile technologies and what we are doing as consumers on our mobile devices.
- Autonomous vehicles; 5G is going to have a huge impact on automated vehicles and how they communicate with each other for functions such as braking, road conditions, collision prevention, and how the manufacturers communicate with the cars for performance and programing related items.
- 5G is also going to have a huge impact on public safety when it comes to monitoring utilities, road conditions, emergency response, and many other functions handles by public safety.
- Healthcare is going to be another industry that is going to be affected by the improvements in 5G. Services such as remote surgeries, telemedicine, and how hospitals remotely monitor and manage patient services.
5G is coming; the real exciting part of 5G is going to be when mid-band and high-band become more mainstream, and as time goes on the cost of 5G devices will start to go down. At this point, I wouldn’t get too excited about 5G but I would have an understanding of the potential of the 5G initiatives and how it is going to affect you and your business. Start putting a plan together on how your business is going to use 5G and how you are going to roll it out to your users in the coming years.