Have you ever tried to access the internet in a crowded area, such as a sporting event or concert? It oftentimes doesn’t work and can be slow to connect.
It’s a frustration I’m sure most of us have experienced.
5G technology, however, aims to rectify that.
In this blog post, we will define the newest generation of telecommunications technology, take a look at the benefits that it promises, and examine some of the controversy that it has caused.
What is 5G Technology?
In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. Just as 3G and 4G before it, 5G networks are cellular networks, in which the service area is divided into small geographical areas called cells. All 5G-enabled wireless devices in a cell are then connected to the Internet and telephone network via radio waves through a local antenna in each cell.
Due to its increased bandwidth, 5G will enable a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
Though worldwide rollouts began in 2019, it will take some time until all devices are up-to-date and able to handle the new technology. The payoff, however, could be astronomical. According to studies, 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized by 2035 – supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.1 trillion worth of goods and services.
Other benefits, though, could be realized much sooner.
The Benefits of 5G Technology
The main advantage of 5G networks will be its greater bandwidth. The greater bandwidth means speedier connections, lower latency for faster responsiveness, and the ability to connect many more devices at once.
With speeds 10-100x faster than 4G, 5G will be lightning quick. To give an example as to help conceptualize its speed, you’ll be able to download a feature length film in just seconds.
Though the full potential for 5G has yet to be realized, any business that can benefit from high-resolution, fast streaming video will be affected.
Its presence will also mean more data. With a likely uptick in smart devices and smart sensors, more data will become available helping to further machine learning and AI systems.
In addition, 5G will help mobile networks replace wired networks. This will allow businesses to set up satellite offices in more rural areas and help ease remote work connectivity issues.
There are concerns over the technology, though.
Concerns Over 5G Technology
Despite its rollout, not all will be able to enjoy the benefits of 5G – at least not immediately. That’s because not all devices will be able to support it. Meaning you’ll need to upgrade to a smartphone that’s compatible with the new networks. And for any business wanting to take advantage of the new technology, they’ll also need to upgrade their hardware – which could be costly.
There are also privacy concerns.
Some privacy experts are worried that 5G could help law enforcement track individuals in ways that could violate their rights. Since more towers will be needed to support 5G, these additional antennas will allow for more precise location of users inside and outside.
In addition to privacy concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said 5G networks could disrupt aircraft operations. The main concern being that cellular towers and antennas near airports could interfere with radio altimeters, which are electronic devices in aircraft that help pilots gauge their altitude above the terrain.
There are also others who are worried about potential health risks from 5G because it uses higher band, shorter frequency electromagnetic radiation. There is no scientific evidence, however, that these radio waves pose any danger.
In any event, the rollout of new technology is always exciting. With it comes new opportunity and for those within the IT industry, likely new jobs. And for help in filling those jobs, you can always count on PSCI.