The launch of analog cellular phones in the 1980s began a trend of rapid evolutions in radio technologies. The 1G mobile network-enabled users to make phone calls which was then replaced by the 2G mobile network. With technological advancements, we reached the fourth generation of the mobile network that has enabled us to do so much at a good speed. The 4G network enabled live gaming, faster streaming, and more internet data.
The internet has become such an indispensable part of lives that it is difficult to imagine even a day without having the internet on our mobile devices. In fact, without an internet connection, our smartphone feels like a useless box.
The time has come when 5G will be entering our lives to ease the access and navigation on the internet. Although 4G brought a great level of convenience in our lives, however, the rising number of devices connecting to the internet results in overloading of bandwidth. Eventually, the whole purpose of good speed and ease of internet access with 4G fails miserably. Fortunately, the 5G network claims to overcome all of the shortcomings of 4G to enable better access to the internet without overloading the bandwidth.
What is 5G?
The Fifth Generation mobile network (5G) is the upcoming revolution in mobile technology. The expectation from the 5G technology is new frequency bands with wider bandwidth for each frequency channel. It promises ultra high speed and innovative features that would make a mobile device as good as a laptop. 5G will offer multiple gaming options, increased connectivity, more multimedia options, faster response time, zero latency, and many other features.
5G will also aid developers in deploying applications that work well with fast and high-speed lower latency networks.
Here are some features and benefits of 5G:
- It will offer a higher and increased bit rate
- 5G will have a high capacity to instantly connect more devices simultaneously
- The battery consumption will be less with 5G
- The data volume will be large per unit area
- It will offer better connectivity and reliable communication.
The implementation of 5G technology will be spread across 5 years starting from 2020. It may take more time to come into use in developing countries.
Pros and Cons of 5G Technology
With features such as zero latency, up to 10Gbit/s speed, global connectivity, and faster response time, 5G technology will benefit students, working professionals, and the governments. Let’s take a look at the major advantages and disadvantages of 5G technology.
Pros of 5G Technology
- Faster Transmission
5G technology promises a faster transmission of data. For instance, downloading an HD video takes quite some time with 4G whereas with 5G technology the transmission and download of images and videos will be completed very quickly. This is because the 5G network will also have a millimeter-wave band along with the LTE frequency range. Therefore, the 5G network will provide a speed that is 100 times faster than 4G network with a transmission speed of up to 10Gbit/s
- Increased Bandwidth
One of the most important benefits that 5G technology will offer is increased bandwidth. With increased bandwidth, downloading files, playing games online, streaming videos, and overall access to the internet will be at a much faster speed. Therefore, this technology will impact the economy and users positively with higher revenue for cellular providers.
- Increased Connectivity
5G technology allows an increase in traffic capacity by 100 times, allowing more devices to connect. It is expected to support more than 60,000 connections with uniform and uninterrupted connectivity globally. Increased connectivity enables simultaneous communication with more people and devices. Due to increased connectivity, it will be easier to establish smart cities by using sensor connections to regulate themselves. It will also facilitate the development of autonomous vehicles that will easily connect and exchange information with each other.
- Lower Latency
The 4G network suffers due to latency issues. Essentially, latency is the time taken between the instruction and its execution. The latency in 5G technology is of 4-5 milliseconds which may be reduced to 1 millisecond. In comparison to 4G technology, the latency in 5G technology will be 10 times lower. Due to low latency, watching uninterrupted videos at a good speed will be the new normal. This benefit will also facilitate advancements in the IT, construction, and medicine fields.
- Reduced Congestion on Towers
The 4G technology leads to congestion on towers and reduced bandwidth as the coverage is higher mean there are more users. The 5G technology will have shorter coverage and will require more towers. Therefore, there will be fewer users and higher bandwidth with a reduced load on towers. This will enable and ease internet access for all users.
- Innovations in Mobile Applications
Increased speed, lower latency, and faster transmissions will enable users to smoothly switch from laptops to mobile devices for the same tasks. 5G will enable the development of innovative and advanced mobile applications built on emerging technologies. It may also make it possible to control our laptops with mobile devices, detect natural disasters faster, parallel use of multiple services, etc.
Cons of 5G Technology
- Reduced Coverage
The 3G technology required lower bandwidth therefore the cell towers covered longer distances with fewer cells. But with 4G technology, more cells were deployed for better bandwidth which meant reduced coverage and more towers. This advantage will further increase with the 5G network. 5G technology will have higher bandwidth and lesser coverage, which will require more cell towers. Therefore, with 5G network users will not have widespread coverage.
- Radio-frequency Issues
The 5G network will transmit a radio-frequency range of around 6GHz. Various other signals also transmit a radio-frequency range of 6GHz which makes the frequency crowded. For instance, cell towers, satellites, and radios use the same radio frequency to communicate and it often results in overcrowding of that particular radio-frequency range. Overcrowding leads to delays and issues in sending or receiving data signals. This issue may render the faster transmission and lower latency claims of the 5G network useless. If the radio-frequency gets overcrowded, people will still suffer from delays and issues despite using 5G technology.
- Establishment Costs
Launching 5G technology will result in increased establishment costs as it will require an upgrade of the existing mobile infrastructures. The current mobile infrastructure is not compatible with 5G technology. Therefore, the upgrade will require more time and money with added labor costs to maintain the connection.
- Potential Security Issues
As per a research conducted in the University of Dundee and University of Lorraine, 5G technology may increase the risk of security threats. The technology enables the transfer of high-quality data which will provide attackers with multiple entry points. Security issues will become the major concern for individuals and countries to adopt the technology.
The Bottom Line
The launch of 5G technology will take almost 5 years or more to reach every country, and therefore, the pros and cons can only be estimated based on what is being heard. The technology is still under progress to eliminate the major concerns, overcome obstacles, and enhance the technology to benefit everyone. People all around the world are eagerly waiting to leverage this technology. But, we are yet to see how this technology will capitalize on the pros and negate the impact of its cons for users. The advantages of 5G technology are more and will certainly outweigh the disadvantages of technology in the future.
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