#TechTuesdays: 5 things about 5G

Our modern devices crave constant, robust internet connections. With the growing number of gadgets requiring fast, stable internet, network technologies must advance to meet the demand. 5G promises to revolutionise mobile network technology with increased speeds for the myriad of devices in our lives.

5G is the 5th generation of cellular networking. The technology will encompass more spheres than generations past. A few advancements in 5G are:

  • Up to 100x faster than 4G
  • Low latency
  • More network capacity
  • New technology
  • New Possibilities

It’ll be faster. Much Faster

According to Qualcomm, (Global mobile technology player) “5G is expected to deliver peak data rates up to 20 Gbps.” That’s a lot of speed. 4G speeds top out at about 1 Gbps.  Imagine being able to download and watch your favourite, high definition movie in seconds. That’s the promise of 5G. That’s the best-case scenario. But in any case, 5G will be much faster than even 4G LTE speeds.

Lower Latency

Latency is the delay between sending information and receiving it. Lower latency means less waiting and faster response times.

It is expected that 5G will be more than just a faster way to download content on smart, mobile devices. 5G promises to lower latency. But what does that even mean for you the consumer? Here’s a breakdown.

Currently, a robust 4G has a delay of about 70 milliseconds. This means that even on the best day, there’s about a 70-millisecond delay between you requesting something and the network fetching the data. 5G promises to reduce that number to 1-millisecond. That’s nearly real-time. 5G’s low latency will enable new experiences.

Existing Cell towers must be upgraded with new 5G tech.

More Network Capacity

We have more devices than ever before. Many of these machines require the internet to work. With more people and gadgets accessing data, there’s less bandwidth to go around. Many carrier networks have been using the same radio-frequencies for years, and it’s starting to fill up.

Typically, networks used spectrum bands below six gigahertz. It’s getting crowded down there. 5G networks will use bands between 30 and 300 gigahertz. These bands have never been used for mobile data traffic, so there’s a lot more legroom. By using new bandwidth, networks can handle 1000x more devices than current systems. That’s more space for all your tablets and phones.

5G promises more capacity and faster cellular network speeds.

New Technologies

Because the world uses more internet-dependent tech, the powers that be had to engineer their way out of the network capacity problem. Here are a few technologies that 5G will make possible.

Millimetre-Wave technology – Using higher frequencies to transmit data. (This tech is what will bring the faster up to 20Gbps speeds).

Small Cells – Instead of giant cell towers, 5G will use multiple smaller stations to transmit millimetre waves. These stations would be closer together and more minuscule than the giant poles we have now. These stations are necessary because millimetre waves don’t go as far as 4G signals, can’t pass through objects well and get absorbed by rain and plants. So, these mini stations will relay signals around the massive tree in your yard.

Beamforming – Current cell towers blast signals in every direction. Beamforming tech targets specific devices, limiting interference. This creates sort of your direct line to the network.

New Possibilities

With the advent of 5G network upgrades, come great possibilities. Here are a few:

  • Self-driving cars – The low latency is especially important here. Imagine a vehicle that could respond faster than you can blink. Cars could transmit their present location to other cars to avoid accidents.
  • AR/VR – Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will benefit immensely from 5G. You could be at a football game and get live stats on players from the stands. Or, have your virtual game beamed straight to your eyeballs in VR.
  • Smarter Machines – Robots can receive updates and programming faster, enabling more efficiency. For example, car factory robots would benefit significantly from near-instant updates.

What possibilities are you most excited about with 5G tech? Sound off in the comments BUZZ fam.