Next Generation Internet: 5G

We are all now connected by the internet, like neurons on the giant brain.

Stephen Hawking

5G is the next big technological revolution around the world in the telecommunication industry. 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. 5G provides faster internet and more reliable connectivity over wireless devices. The first commercial launch of the fifth generation of mobile networks was in 2019.

Technologically advanced countries are leading the world in building and deploying 5G technology like china, South Korea and the US. South Korea is way ahead in the deployment of 5G, as this country has rolled out 5G to 85 cities as of Jan. 2020. Government officials estimate that 90% of South Korean mobile users will be on a 5G network by 2026.

What is new in 5G?

When we compared third-generation (3G) mobile technology to presently used Fourth Generation (4G), we find that 4G provides seamless video streaming and calling on the go. More video streaming, however, has increased congestion in the network. Chris Mills head of industry analysis, at Tutela, explains that “the fourth generation (4G) is reaching the technical limits of how much data it can quickly transfer across blocks of the spectrum.” 

With the development of fifth-generation (5G) technology, a large amount of data can be transmitted more speedily and efficiently than 4G. 5G means strong network reliability, faster downloads, and support for more connected devices than ever before. 5G will give a high download speed eventually up to 10Gbps.

The most important advantage of 5G network is that it will give a gateway for the Internet of Things (IoT) connected at a world scale. It will hugely increase the coverage and responsiveness of wireless technology. It also increases the latency of wireless networks. Latency simple means the response time between sending and receiving data over any network. Eventually, 5G would help in decreasing the lag time and increasing the responsiveness of many new technologies used in a different area like healthcare, education, finance, and many others.

The Increased Speed

So, how does this next-generation network going to achieve the “10gbps” kind of speed? 5G is going to acquire this speed infraction by using higher-frequency radio waves than currently used frequency. However, the most visible disadvantage of using higher-frequency radio waves is that their range limitation in comparison to the frequencies that are under current usage in the cellular towers.

For catering varied range of services, the 5G network will be going to operate in three different frequency band i.e. low, medium, high; each requires different kinds of antennas each having different download speed, range, and service area.

These different frequency band has configured differently and had a different-different area of usage. Firstly, low-band 5G uses a similar frequency range to 4G (currently used frequency). Employment of frequency range from 600-700 MHz will significantly improve the current download speed of 50-250 Mbps. The coverage of low band 5G towers is very similar to 4G towers in terms of area. Secondly, Medium-band 5G will use microwave of the frequency range of 2.5-3.7 GHz, which will drastically increase the download speed up to 100-900Mb/s. With the scope and coverage of several miles, mid-band 5G is going to be deployed most widely and would be available in the most metropolitan areas in 2021. Some countries are not implementing low-band, making this the minimum service level.

Lastly, High-band 5G, that would operate at the frequency range of 25-40 GHz. The high range frequency would eventually give us the download speed up to some Gb/s. However, millimetre waves have some disadvantages like limited range, the requirement of many small cells and also the limitation of penetrating some kinds of walls and windows with the high cost of implementation.

The above speeds are those achieved in actual tests in 2020. The download speed is likely to increase during the rollout.

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