5G, the planned successor to the widely used 4G networks, is the fifth generation of cellular networks. Low-band 5G is OFDM based, which is a type of digital transmission 4G LTE uses. The air interface for 5G is known as New Radio(NR) and is subdivided into two frequency bands, FR1 and FR2. Mid-band 5G uses Frequency Range 1(FR1) with frequency bands less than 6GHz while high-band 5G uses FR2 with frequencies above 24 GHz mmWave (millimeter waves). 5G is about increased speed and reduced latency, resulting in faster downloads and uploads. But the benefits of 5G is not limited to just high-speed data transfers. The transition to the 5G network from existing networks can change the way we live since it can connect everyone and everything. Here is everything 5G has to offer.
5G ensures blazing download speeds with some of the prominent 5G providers claiming a peak speed of 20Gbps. Nevertheless, the data transfer speeds vary between different bands of 5G. Low-band 5G uses the same frequency range of 4G but enhances the download speed a little higher than 4G whereas mid-band 5G gives approximately 1Gbps data speed. Varying from these, high-band 5G provides multi-Gbps speeds with the use of mmWave, which is a short-range, high-frequency network technology. However, an approximated speed of 1Gbps is expected when 5G rolls out, which is many times faster than 4G. Moreover, 5G technology reduces latency to a great extent. Latency is the transmission time for a packet of data. Reduced latency plays a key role in providing faster downloads and uninterrupted streaming of high definition videos.
Video calls can be made more interactive with 5G networks. With its faster and more reliable network, 5G supports high definition and even three-dimensional video conferencing without any interruptions. To be more precise, it furnishes the users with a crystal-clear video calling experience without lags and connectivity issues. Other important factors that make video calls seamless and interactive are 5G's reduced latency and higher throughput.
Online gaming experience can be taken to the next level with 5G networks. Apart from high-speed data transfer, ultra-fast responsiveness is what makes online gaming awesome. With 5G's low latency, higher bandwidth, and reduced response time, edge computing becomes more feasible. This means the gaming device you use will communicate with smaller data hubs that are closer rather than communicating with a central server over a long distance, thus reducing overall communication time. Edge computing ensures a smooth gaming experience even on low spec phones as long as a 5G connection is available.
One of the main types of connected services in which 5G can be used is enhanced mobile broadband, which enhances immersive experiences such as virtual reality and augmented reality. The possibilities 5G has to offer could potentially make education, entertainment, and social communication experiences through VR exceptional. Now, coming to AR, 5G enables a whole new prospect for professionals, explorers, families, children, and even fitness enthusiasts thus serving a broad range of roles in daily life. The key features of 5G including low latency, high data speeds, and edge computing helps in creating an interactive and immersive experience through VR & AR.
5G is expanding worldwide with some countries enjoying the service already. The transition from 4G to 5G may be faster than the transition from 3G to 4G and mobile phone manufacturers are speeding up the production of 5G compatible mobile phones. The 5G phones being launched now are costly. Affordable 5G phones should be widely available by the time 5G becomes commonly accessible and that could be within a few years.
The production and availability of 5G laptops too will surge when 5G becomes widely accessible. Since laptops are mostly used indoors, the 5G New Radio(NR) FR1 with frequency bands less than 6GHz, which can penetrate walls will be mostly used in 5G laptops. A 5G equipped laptop ensures always-on connection anywhere and eliminates the need of connecting to external internet sources. This gradually reduces the reliability of Wi-Fi access points and other internet service providers like cable internet.
Massive IoT is another connected service, 5G is capable of. It helps connect meters, machinery sensors, and consumer electronics. Besides, massive IoT assists in the digitization of transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and other physical industries. 5G could facilitate IoT to run instantaneous traffic analyses virtually, improve security and public safety. 5G enabled IoT can thus help support a wide range of activities across the world. New applications in the Internet of Things will be made possible with the help of 5G networks. 5G technology will also help connect a large number of IoT devices promoting massive machine-type communication without human interference. Furthermore, the ultra-responsiveness of 5G lends a hand in making home automation easier and smarter.
5G and AI go hand in hand to create groundbreaking technologies. As a result, what was already possible can be done in an instant, like instant language translation. With 5G, AI is made more intelligent, enabling live streaming in Smart TVs more interactive and uninterrupted. Moreover, users could customize the view of the point as per their wish.
People from around the world are excited about the launch of 5G, mostly because of the high data transfer speed it has to offer. But what makes 5G stand out is something more than just fast downloads, like enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and massive IoT.
Let's conclude by having a look at some of the anticipated questions.
5G may not replace Wi-Fi soon, but with the technology incorporated in 5G cellular networks, a convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular networks is possible. The gap between Wi-Fi and cellular networks indoor and outdoor can be reduced significantly with the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular networks. 5G still has the potential to replace existing home internet service providers by providing a wireless modem alternative.
5G started rolling out during mid-2019. As of June 2020, 35+ countries had access to 5G. Compared to 4G, a much faster rollout of 5G is expected. 5G should be commonly available within a few years.
The early version of 5G services is called 5G non-standalone(NSA), which is a 5G radio technology built on the existing 4G LTE network infrastructure. Initially, 5G services will be rolled out in a way that the consumer can switch to 4G when 5G is not available. Still, it is uncertain whether 5G can make 4G faster. We will have to wait to make sure of it.
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