With the introduction of 5G, we’re definitely going on a whirlwind with internet connectivity, on laptops, phones, tablets etc. You might wonder what it means, how does it work and why you should be bothered about it?
Well, this article gives the answers to your questions and lots more. 5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks and are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.
A little historical background demonstrates the context of 5G. First-generation networks were introduced back in the 1980s – they were analogue and only carried voice. In the ‘90s, 2G (or second generation) phones launched and they were digital, introducing new features like text messages and picture messages. The early noughties ushered in 3G (third generation) which started to include video calling and mobile data. Ten years later we saw 4G, and these networks and phones were designed to support mobile internet and higher speeds for activities like video streaming and gaming.
Now, networks are changing again and 5G is set to land soon.
5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps expected to soon be the norm. The 5G networks being planned right now will operate in a high-frequency band of the wireless spectrum—between 30 GHz and 300 GHz, in what’s known as the millimeter wave spectrum.
“5G makes it possible to use completely new applications in areas like transportation, health care, energy efficiency improvement and entertainment,” said Elisa CEO Veli-Matti Mattila.
“With the help of 5G services, consumers as well as corporate and institutional customers will get lots of new value when modern applications can be used more efficiently and it becomes possible to develop new applications.” she adds.
What does 5G mean for WiFi?
5G WiFi is essentially the next WiFi standard. In the past we’ve had WiFi ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘g’ and ‘n’, with ‘n’ being, until recently, the most modern and the fastest of the available options. ‘5G’ WiFi is correctly known as WiFi ‘ac’, or 802.11ac for any tech buffs out there.
When will 5G arrive?
It’s not exactly fixed yet but some countries such as South Korea, China, Japan and the US are claiming they will launch 5G networks later this year (2018) or early next. However, in the UK rollout isn’t set to begin until 2020, according to the government’s 5G strategy and statements from network operators.
Even then, that’s just when networks will start to roll out 5G, so we might not see widespread 5G coverage in the UK until 2022 or later working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you are.
The main benefits of 5G are expected to be that it will be much faster ,some are saying as much as 100 times faster and you will be able to download not merely stream a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds on a 5G network also watch them without any buffering. The same task would take closer to 10 minutes on 4G.
With the activity around 5G, not everything thing is assured yet. As 2020 gets closer, watch this space because you’ll be hearing a lot more about 5G and how you can benefit from it.