5G — Race into the future!
- by Shravan Kumar Sankaran
There has been a lot of buzz around 5G and how it is going to shape the future of the world in ways unimaginable. Let us delve into it and find out what the fuss is all about.
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a successor to the previous global wireless standards such as 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. The 5G technology was developed with the cooperation between many different companies across the globe, through the standardization consortium, 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project). 5G has been designed to connect everything together in the new world, including machines, objects, and devices. It is expected to deliver amazing data speeds with very low latency, and comes with higher reliability, bigger network capacity, and increased availability. User experience is going to be like something which has never been seen before. To put into perspective how fast 5G really is,
So what exactly lies beneath 5G, in technical terms? 5G is based on OFDM encoding (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), a method of modulating a digital signal across several different channels to reduce interference. 5G uses 5G NR (5G New Radio) air interface alongside OFDM. The technologies behind 5G enable the use of very high frequencies. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength. Shorter wavelengths in turn results in faster speeds and lower latency.
5G, with its groundbreaking technologies and advancements, is going to transform the future of people, enterprises, and society as a whole. For consumers, it is going to give faster download speeds at low latency, and connect millions of devices — especially in the booming areas of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). For example, with 5G, we can get super fast access to cloud services, media streaming, network gaming, augmented reality shopping, and real-time video translation and collaboration, and much more. Remote consulting/diagnosis, usage of drones to support emergency responses, sensors to detect and warn of impending natural disasters, autonomous and connected vehicles to reduce collisions etc. are the some of the radical improvisations we are going to see in our advancing societies. Businesses will have access to lightning-fast data transfer speeds and improved network reliability. This will empower them to tap into and convert previously untapped volumes of data into valuable market knowledge.
Based on a recent study, it has been found that the full economic impact of 5G will likely be realized by the year 2035. It is estimated that, up to $13 trillion worth of goods and services will be driven by the technological shift to 5G. The study also revealed that the entire 5G ecosystem (such as consumers, OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers, etc.) will create and support up to 22.8 million jobs. This literally translates to more than one job for every person in Beijing, China!
The future of 5G looks bright and rosy. 5G has been deployed in 61 countries so far and is gaining momentum in many more. Service providers and operators have started launching new 5G networks since early 2019. Check the link to find out more about 5G availability throughout the world. All major smartphone makers have started manufacturing and releasing 5G enabled handsets into the market. The rollout of 5G has been much faster than expected, and is also being adopted at a very rapid pace, compared to its predecessors. According to a recent report on 5G from Ericsson, by 2026, there will be more than 3.5 billion subscriptions, 5G networks will carry more than half of the world’s mobile data traffic, and network coverage will be at 60% of the world’s population. With super high speeds and ultra low latencies, the excitement for 5G is palpable, possibilities are endless, and sky’s the limit!