Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you probably know or have heard about the impending roll-out of the 5G technology. This cutting-edge development with data technology started with 3G connectivity, which revolutionized the way people communicate online. Later on came 4G LTE which enabled even faster processing speed, and we no longer had to wait for web pages to load.
Now, the 5G version of this data technology is attracting a lot of controversy before it has even been introduced to the consumer. It’s actually a polarizing and even confusing matter for most people because there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about 5G technology.
That’s why we decided to do some research, and the following advantages and disadvantages are what we found out.
Here’s how 5G technology will affect the use of smartphones and other devices in the near future.
Who can say no to faster loading speeds? That’s what 5G technology promises; lightning-fast connectivity at the touch of a button. According to available data, 5G devices will be 1000x faster than current 4G LTE devices, which are already super-fast.
While it might take you 20 to 30 minutes to download a 2GB or so movie in a 4G LTE-connected device, 5G technology is expected to take only 10 to 30 seconds to download a file of the same size. That’s because 5G connectivity offers higher bandwidth, thus reducing the average response time from 50 milliseconds in 4G to 1 millisecond in 5G.
Gamers will definitely enjoy the higher throughput rates of 5G technology too.
New Use Cases
There are many applications that cannot be used at the moment because of the limitations of 3G/4G technology. For instance, remote surgeries that use haptic feedback are virtually impossible to apply but will soon become possible with 5G technology, and the same goes for a large chunk of VR technology.
5G will enable us to connect computer systems with a VR headset that will allow for a richer experience. 5G technology will also make it possible for us to safely enjoy autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, connected smart cities and predictive maintenance.
Experts say that location tracking will be precise and faster than ever, which should make it easier to find missing people. Governments will be able to leverage 5G to improve their surveillance technology capabilities and fast-track investigations as well. All in all, 5G will enable us to accelerate AR/VR technology thanks to high bandwidth applications.
Big Role in the IoT
If there’s one thing we’re certain about, it’s the fact that 5G wireless technology will be at the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT) movement. Over the next decade, we can expect to see smart city applications, Industry 4.0, connected cars, self-driving cars, smart homes, smart buildings and smart industrial software, and it’s all thanks to the development of 5G technology.
Imagine the possibilities if we had guaranteed scalability, negligible latency, seamless mobility and reliability. This is the sum of the 5G technology equation and it’s essential to the successful implementation of IoT projects on all levels.
One of the major roadblocks to the practical application of 5G technology is the fact that it’s expensive, especially when it comes to massive adoption. For instance, 5G subscription plans are bound to be cost- prohibitive in the beginning.
Meanwhile, the infrastructural upgrades required to upgrade the current network systems to 5G capability will require huge capital investments of up to $200 billion per year. That’s why there’s so much reluctance to make the switch from 4G LTE to 5G.
In fact, a report that was issued in 2016 shows that it will cost the American government more than $300 billion to ensure nationwide 5G coverage in the US. Plus, carriers like AT&T will have to put in a lot of money into their own infrastructural upgrades to keep up with 5G antennas and devices. Unlike previous systems, 5G will require a whole lot of up-front investment.
Issues with Coverage and Radio Frequencies
According to some reports, 5G technology will require 6 GHz frequency or even lower. The problem with this frequency range is that it’s already teeming with demand, and adding 5G connectivity to the equation might lead to data transmission issues that will make it difficult to send and receive signals. It’s also possible that 5G network cell users will have access to lower coverage when compared to 4G models.
This means that despite having higher bandwidth, the 5G technology will require additional cell towers to enable large-scale integration of 5G networks. As a result, 5G towers are expected to have outdoor coverage of only 300 meters, and indoor coverage of two meters.
Signal Losses Can Happen
It’s highly likely that 5G technology will lead to considerable losses in the network’s millimeter wave, which will happen due to issues like rain attenuation, foliage losses, penetration problems etc. There’s no guarantee that the 5G technology will deliver on the speed expectations of end-users and software developers either.
The IEEE is yet to confirm the exact specifications of 5G technology and so far all we have is data taken from test environments. That’s why 5G is not expected to become fully-functional for at least the next few years.
What About the Health Risks of 5G Networks?
Most people are aware that smartphones emit small amounts of radiation that can diminish health over time. Well if that is true, 5G networks will allow for the introduction of more powerful smartphones with higher radiation emission.
The human body react to electric signals and one can conclude that the higher the number of electric devices that emit radiation the sicker will be the people close to it. 5G networks are being rolled out all over America despite the objections of many of its citizens.
The below videos shows the danger warnings about 5G towers and the desire of localities to ban it. Most towns in America do not even have the right to ban the installation of 5G towers based on FCC rules.
Although 5G technology is still in the development stages, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the possible applications that it will offer. Service providers and governments alike are gearing up to see who will be the first to realize its potential.
As with every new technology, the 5G network comes with its benefits and shortcomings. The challenge facing companies now is how to mitigate the risks that come with 5G technology without limiting its capabilities.
At the end of the day, we all want to know how 5G is going to change our lives and the way we use technology in the world so that we can make informed decisions on it.