5G, the fifth-generation wireless network, is the latest mobile internet technology on the horizon, which will enable quicker speeds and more secure connections on smartphones
Powered by advanced technology, 5G will offer connections that are exponentially faster than existing connections, as about 1GBps will be average download speed in the future. It will also massively raise the traction of Internet of Technology (IOT) devices by offering more infrastructure required to transport vast amounts of data.
5G networks will most likely be introduced globally by 2020 and will function side by side with the existing 3G and 4G technologies to provide faster connections. Some experts opine that 5G will allow data transmission to touch rates of even 20GBps over broadband networks. Additionally, their latency will be of one million seconds or lower, allowing for real-time video streaming. The entry of this technology will enable data transmissions over wireless networks to skyrocket, as more bandwidth will be made available and also due to advanced antenna technology.
Because 5G entails low power consumption, connected objects will be allowed to function for more time than now without requiring any manual intervention. Currently, the existing IoT devices are functioning not so efficiently because of the present technologies such as 3G, 4G, etc. 5G technology will enable them to realize their maximum potential, leading to a universally well-connected world.
To achieve 5G technology, there are some specification needs. Data rate should shoot to 10GBps, which is 10 to 100 times the speed achieved with 4G and 4.5G networks, where latency would be one millisecond. Moreover, there will be 100 percent coverage, and network energy usage will reduce by a whopping 90 percent.
With the arrival of 5G, the scope of broadband wireless networks will extend beyond IoT, mobile network, and other critical communications sectors.
While 1G networks introduced mobility to analog phones, 2G networks made digital mobile voice services, SMS and mobile Internet browsing, and roaming services across networks possible.
Data services improved slightly with 2.5G and 2.75G networks because of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE), respectively.
With 3G networks, mobile internet experience improved, but only to a limited extent.
With 4G networks, all internet protocol services, a quicker broadband internet experience made its presence with unified networks architectures and protocols.
4.5G networks increased data speeds twice quicker when compared with 4G.
Some crucial applications such as autonomous vehicles need very low latency even if the data rates need not be fast. On the other hand, cloud-based services with substantial data analysis will not require improvements in latency rates, but speed should be improved.
One of the advantages of 5G is that it can support local area network (LAN) communication requirements and wide area network (WAN) with the proper latency.
Some companies and organizations have initiated programs for 5G. It began in 2012 when the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) launched ‘International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2020 and beyond’ to prepare the ground for 5G. Similarly, 2013 saw Huawei, Ericsson, and Samsung start prototype development. South Korea and Japan commenced work on needs for 5G in 2013. NTT Docomo conducted first experimental trials for needs for 5G in 2014. SK Telecom, a South Korea-based company, carried out a demo at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. Meanwhile, Japan is gearing up to launch 5G for the summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G is expected to reach 40 percent of the world’s population by 2024, with around 1.5 million subscriptions.
Currently, 4G networks use the application, Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM), for carrying out tough mutual authentication between users and their connected devices and the networks. USIM application is hosted on a unit, which is an embedded UICC chip or a removable SIM card. This powerful mutual authentication is mandatory to support trusted services. As of today, security solutions are the blend of security at the core (network) and security at the edge (device). In the future, it is possible that various security frameworks could co-exist, and it is likely that 5G may reuse existing solutions that networks and cloud are utilizing today.
The strong mutual authentication’s standard for 5G networks was decided upon in 2018. The requirement for security, trust, and privacy will be as tough it is for 4G if not more, as the impact of IoT services increases manifold.
Besides faster mobile speeds, 5G is also for enabling better internet connectivity in more and more objects for users. 5G networks will power the smart home and self-driving cars.
In 2019, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and LG, among others, are reportedly planning to launch the first-ever 5G smartphones. Simultaneously, 5G SIM cards will also be ready in the same year.
- 5G technology will hasten up the commencement of monetization of IoT devices which rely on cellular technology. On the other hand, Wi-Fi is a LAN technology, the operation range of which is limited and so is its latency and speed. For IoT devices, increased mobility, apart from increased pervasiveness, and higher speed and lower latency are necessary to monetize them. It will only be possible if 5G is launched.
- Meanwhile, mobile users can enjoy convenient roaming experience with 5G. The bandwidth will be very high in 5G, allowing users to download files quickly, access internet instantaneously, and view streaming videos with better resolution.
- Industry analysts predict that with 5G technology, smart devices operating on a 5G network will be able to function thousands of times faster than on a 4G network, opening up new vistas for new smart devices to emerge.
- 5G will also make it possible for offering uninterrupted, unvarying, and stable connectivity across the globe. Other advantages for humanity due to the emergence of 5G will be the ability to access multiple services simultaneously while communicating over the phone. People with ailments can connect with physicians in real-time, which will help them take precautionary medication quickly. Remote education will become a reality, as students sitting in any location will be able to attend virtual classes. Natural disasters can be predicted much more quickly, allowing people more time to respond to take evasive steps.
Because of all the benefits mentioned above, people are waiting with bated breath for 5G.
“My Self Anoop Murali, I am a Staff Author at FieldEngineer.com a Freelance Marketplace for Telecom Engineers. It’s an On-Demand telecom workforce, ranging from field engineers to high-level network engineers, project managers and Network Architects in 175 countries. I can understand ongoing technology trends and keep myself updated in the technology industry.”