What is 5G technology?

5G is the fifth generation wireless broadband technology that is based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard. Although there is still time for mainstream implementation of this technology, an increasing number of companies have already started gearing up for this new mobile wireless standard. The features and usability of 5G are much beyond the expectation of people. The features of 5G includes,

  • Zero latency.
  • Speed of up to 10 Gbps.
  • Wide range of applications.
  • More software options to upgrade.
  • Faster response time.
  • Ubiquitous connectivity.

While 4G claims to be around five times faster than 3G services, 5G Wi-Fi connections are set to be around three times faster than 4G, starting with 450Mbps in single-stream, 900 Mbps in dual- stream and 1.3Gbps in three-stream. With huge growth seen in the IoT and smart devices, 5G will enable a rapid arrival of a connected future. This new technology offers a wide range of features, which are beneficial for everyone, including students and professionals in various fields. It has the ability to provide uniform, uninterrupted, and consistent connectivity across the world. Medical treatment will become easier for doctors as they will be able to treat patients remotely. Besides increase in bitrate, 5G has also advanced in terms of,

  • Increased peak bit rate.
  • Larger data volume per unit area.
  • Allowing more devices connectivity, concurrently and instantaneously.
  • Lower battery consumption.
  • Better connectivity irrespective of the location.
  • Larger number of supporting devices.
  • Lower cost of infrastructural development.
  • Higher reliability.

Although implementing this technology has many benefits, it has several shortcomings as well. Because of the incompetent technological support in most parts of the world, the claimed speed of 5G is difficult to achieve in all locations. Most old devices would not be compatible with 5G and will need to be replaced, which is an expensive deal. With security and privacy issues yet to be addressed, developing the infrastructure needs high cost as well. The challenges faced by this technology can be categorized into Technological challenges and common challenges. The technological challenges include inter-cell interference, efficient medium access control and network traffic management. Common challenges include standardization to provide dynamic, universal, user-centric, and data-rich wireless services, need for larger infrastructure support, security and privacy concerns of users, and legislation of the Cyberlaw is also an imperative issue.

Starting from the First Generation (1G) in 1980s, we are advancing towards more sophisticated and smarter technology. With greater bandwidth comes faster download speeds and the ability to run complex mobile internet apps on devices. With 5G scheduled for launch in 2020, the impact it will have remains to be seen.

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