February 14, 2023

What is 5G? The next generation of wireless technology


5G is definitely here. The latest generation of wireless connectivity can be found in everything from flagship and budget smartphones to laptops, and even some conspiracy theories.

The next-generation wireless standard doesn’t just deliver faster data speeds so you can browse the Internet faster. No, 5G-enabled devices can also offer reliable, ultra-low latency connections to a large network of devices, and more. 5G isn’t just for smartphones, it’s designed to connect everything with a cellular pulse.

With 5G taking the Internet of Things (IoT) to greater heights, increasing data transfer speeds to make full use of virtual and augmented reality, and providing new services such as autonomous agricultural machinery, network upgraded level is full of potential. For many of us, however, there are good reasons to ask, “Do I really need 5G?” »

If you’re wondering what 5G can do for you and why we’re already talking about 6G when the current wireless network seems to be draining battery life, even on the best smartphones on the market, read on.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation wireless cellular standard. These standards are created by an organization known as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which is made up of seven telecommunications standards development organizations. Members range from mobile network operators such as T-Mobile to component manufacturers such as Qualcomm. Interestingly, no one actually owns 5G; it is a number of companies that rely on the foundations of the network.

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

To get real Technically, 5G is based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), which modulates a digital signal over several different channels to reduce interference. Like Explain by Qualcomm, 5G also uses higher bandwidth technologies such as sub-6GHz and mmWave.

Like before reported, there are three distinct frequencies that 5G can operate on – low, mid and high band spectra – each of which offers advantages and disadvantages.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

low band
This is the same area in which LTE operates in the United States: below 1 GHz frequencies. The advantage of low band is that it can travel long distances and penetrate buildings. But with peak speeds around 100 Mbps, low band can’t deliver the speeds promised by mid or high band solutions anywhere. That’s pretty much what we see today in strong 4G LTE areas, although it’s worth noting that 4G isn’t limited to those speeds. While low-band will still be relevant in the future for providing coverage in rural areas, it won’t deliver the kind of speed and latency benefits that most would expect from a “5G network.”

In many ways, mid-band seems like the go-to for nationwide 5G, as it still offers reasonable range while delivering much of the speed that 5G promises. This has been a popular option for 5G propagation in the rest of the world, but in the US available mid-band spectrum is extremely limited due to existing commitments.

high band
Much of the early deployment of 5G is happening in the high band via millimeter wave (mmWave), which covers radio band frequencies from 30 GHz to 300 GHz. This is where we are currently witnessing the incredible speed tests with download speeds exceeding 1 Gbps under the right conditions. However, the limits for high-speed 5G are closer to 10 Gbps, and potentially 20 Gbps. As you might have guessed, the big downside here is range. Real-world testing of current mmWave implementations has shown that connections drop after only a few hundred meters and any obstacle – like getting inside – will reduce this even further.

From 1G to 5G

5G would not have been possible without the very first generation of mobile networks – 1G. As detailed by Brainbridge, it was first introduced by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in Tokyo, Japan in 1979. However, it was not properly rolled out across Japan until 1984, while states United States approved the cover and published the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x in 1983.

Inventor Martin Cooper using the Motorola DynaTAC (Image credit: Wikipedia)

The DynaTAC is the first example of a mobile phone with coverage, which costs $3,995 and offers 30 minutes of talk time and 10 hours of charge. That price converts to $10,897.85 in 2021, so it’s good to know we can get 5G coverage on a budget phone for less than $500 today.

Then came 2G, which was introduced in Finland in 1991. Mobile users enjoyed much better clarity during calls thanks to digital voice calls and could even send text messages (SMS), picture messages and multimedia messages. (MMS) on their phone. Mobile cell towers were also introduced, offering transfer speeds of up to 500 kbit/s. Today, these speeds are unbearable, but 3G will soon follow.

NTT launched 3G in Japan in 2001, dramatically improving data transfer speeds so users could start video conferencing and other services like Skype. The Blackberry was the first mobile device to make full use of 3G, but the new network coverage also spawned Apple’s first iPhone in 2007.

(Image credit: Adobe Stock)

The era of Internet access on a mobile device was born when 4G was introduced in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway in 2009. Also referred to as 4G long-term evolution (LTE), the Improved network enabled HD video streaming through data transfer speeds. up to 1Gbps. The introduction of 4G is arguably what made smartphones so popular, leading to the boom in popular apps like FaceTime, Uber, Deliveroo, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

This brings us to 5G, which first appeared in South Korea in 2019, delivering data transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps, a 100x increase in network efficiency, and low latency at 1 ms. We are now seeing services like cloud gaming become a reality, thanks to Xbox cloud gaming and Google Stadia (although there is still work to be done).

Is 6G already on the way?

It’s no surprise that 6G wireless technology is already in the works. Tech giant Apple is apparently already in development the next generation of wireless technology, while Samsung predicted 6G will be launched as early as 2028. 6G will not appear overnight, however, as it takes time to create the next generation of wireless technology.

(Image credit: Samsung)

While 5G has only recently been launched in the wild; it was already in development as early as 2008. All thanks to a 5G R&D program in South Korea, with help from NASA to develop Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology and the 5G technology that goes with it.

It’s over a decade in the making, and 5G still hasn’t been fully utilized as the first line of flagship 5G smartphones, such as the iPhone 12, weren’t released until 2020. 5G can offer a massive upgrade over 4G, from faster connectivity and sharing unlimited amounts of data, but it can also completely drain your battery. ‘a device. Samsung even has an official support page on how Galaxy phone batteries drain quickly on 5G service.

For now, there is still a lot of progress to be made in the consumer 5G market. We’re still in its infancy, so who knows what 6G capabilities will be (mind-boggling). Still, a number of researchers and companies have their vision for what 6G could entail.

According to to research from Samsung, the integration of 6G in machines will exceed “human limits”. We can expect services such as immersive extended reality (XR), bringing together VR, AR and MR; high fidelity moving holograms; and digital replicas. Standard mobile devices displaying holograms are apparently the future we are heading towards.

Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland imagine that 6G will bring “augmented projection interfaces” that can act like the user interface (UI) of a current smartphone, multi-dimensional design technology and “intelligent material ” which can project animations onto products such as bottled water.

While professionals and businesses can dream of endless possibilities for the future of wireless technology, Qualcomm is placing more faith in 5G. Already deeply involved in the development of 5G components, the semiconductor company States the full economic effect of 5G will likely be fully realized across the globe by 2035. In fact, the “5G effect” on the global economy could enable up to $13.1 trillion worth of goods and services to course of the next decade.

Do you need 5G?

Until now, 5G offered the possibility of seamless connections between devices. UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) noted 5G is being used in a variety of ways, including in agriculture. Machines are used to scan fields using a video sensor and apply fertilizers and pesticides where they are needed.

(Image credit: APPLE)

While it can also be used in the health sector and help improve transport networks, 5G is still in its infancy for the general public. 5G aims to deliver near-instant access to cloud services, multiplayer cloud gaming, enhanced augmented reality, and real-time video translation and collaboration, but you’ll find 5GHz Wi-Fi on the go. an Internet Service Provider (ISP) can offer the same.

The bottom line is, unless you urgently need super-fast data transfer speeds and instant connections, you might not need 5G connectivity just yet. The potential of 5G has yet to be fully realized, while a good Wi-Fi connection can deliver high speeds and low latency, the latest generation of wireless technology could go even further in the near future. Outraged, Budget Smartphones are already making 5G the norm, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg like the $10,000 Motorola DynaTAC 8000x to be future-ready.

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