The 5th generation of mobile phone connectivity has been a long time coming. This year, the world will be seeing its first models of 5G phones and true 5G services.
This technology is a promise of never-seen-before high speed, low latency connections and massive bandwidth.
With faster mobile devices and quicker access to the internet, here’s why the world is celebrating and dreading the advent of 5G.
Why We’re Celebrating: Increased Bandwidth Volume
Remember disconnecting a few devices because your laptop could fully buffer a movie? Well, with 5G coming soon, there’s no need of that anymore.
Bandwidth is the space available on a server for individuals connected to it. It helps to determine the speed at which downloads and uploads can take place. With 5G, there will be faster access to video-on-demand, quicker downloads of heavier files, and the ability to connect innumerable devices at one time.
Why We’re Celebrating: Faster Speed
As more people connect to a 3G network, the slower the network becomes. With 5G, all worries of the internet will fade away. People will be able to use the internet in all its glory at blistering speeds and without crowding others out of their bandwidth space.
With more space allotted to each user, the speed of 5G internet will be incomparable. With 1 gigabit per seconds versus the national average of 20 Mbps, you’ll have access to the online world in just mere seconds.
Why We’re Celebrating: More Applications and Programs
The 3G/4G networks aren’t as powerful as 5G networks. Prospective users are excited to see how much it can stretch.
And it can stretch for quite a bit. Remote surgeries can be conducted via haptic feedback equipment, drone delivery, autonomous driving and improved surveillance and creation of smart cities can begin with the expansive benefits of 5G.
What We’re Dreading: The Cost Factor of 5G
For 5G to be commonly used, it cannot be extravagantly expensive. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case just yet.
Turns out that the annual investments required for upgrading and improving 5G service and distribution amount up to $200 billion. Not only that, but distribution costs for the United States alone are more than $300 billion! And it’s not over; carriers will also incur heavy costs of updating their infrastructure to accommodate distribution devises and equipment.
What We’re Dreading: Low Range of Radio Frequency
Unfortunately, unlike its predecessors, the 4G and 3G, 5G will be running on high frequency and low range waves. This technical issue is still perplexing researchers who are currently suggesting the use of small cells in 5G carriers instead of antennas.
To benefit from the real power of 5G, these femtocells have to be fitted near the users’ locations.
Which means more construction is required to accommodate 5G, which could turn out to be bulky and have hidden maintenance costs.
What We’re Dreading: No Uniformity
Every 5G carrier will be using a different 5G spectrum. This means your phone will be restricted to a certain carrier and 5G users will be carrier locked.
According to AT&T’s Vice President, no one has figured out how to amalgamate the different gigahertz by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T into a singular component. So for a while, this lack of uniformity is going to be a hurdle.
What We’re Dreading: Lack of Durability
Turns out, 5G signals are really easy to block. The short millimeter wave bands have short wavelengths that can be easily lost in thin air and can even be blocked by tree leaves and your body.
In other words, the wavelengths won’t travel more than a kilometer before fading out. And placing a femtocells tower every kilometer sounds like a very ridiculous idea.
Challenges to the 5G Advent
With previous advancements in the internet world, we think it’s too early to rule out 5G, considering user demands nowadays! Predictions claim that by 2025, 5G will account for 15% of the total global connections, which means 1.1 billion 5G connections! And in total, 4G and 5G will make up 67% of the global mobile connections!
However, research reports circulating state that the problem of low frequency is not looked favorably upon. The 5G macro-optimized system will use the 6GHz frequency, which is already in use by various network devices. It’s over crowded, causes problems with data transmission and is a big demotivating factor.
Hidden costs of setting up cell towers to improve network coverage are also a cause for hindrance, and without them, 5G coverage and distribution is not possible. To make matters worse, right now 5G distribution is limited to 300 meters outdoor and 2 meters indoors, which means it does not look feasible at all.
Is the World Ready for 5G?
Despite challenges, around 18 network carriers have decided to move ahead with 5G. They aim to provide 5G services and release 5G ready devices this year. The idea of using multiple services simultaneously and more complex programs has spurred the 5G revolution into prematurely entering the market.
It cannot be denied that the 5G potential can be explored and bettered, but with the world on the cusp of technological advancement, impatience and in need for newer technology, maybe now really is the best time to bring 5G to life.
With an exponential increase in data, sharing, cloud memory and global interconnection, 5G can really change the way how networks and technology work, and revolutionize our relationship with the digital world.