5G technology is a major step forward in telecommunications. The new technology takes computing power to a new level, by introducing revolutionary high-speed connectivity and reliability. As 5G becomes more widely adopted, we can expect to see massive changes in the way both individuals and businesses approach computing and the internet. Because 5G makes it easy to be always connected, it is projected to radically change cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and a host of other computing applications.
5G was ultimately a joint effort, carried out by a partnership of some of the leading technology and telecommunication firms. Verizon was a pioneer in developing and implementing 5G, but the company actively sought out partnerships with other leaders in the field as well.
In 2015, Verizon created the 5G Technology Forum, which included representatives of Ericsson, Qualcomm, Intel, and Samsung. The forum’s stated goal was to accelerate the development of 5G and create a shared standard for the industry.
5G technology builds on existing 4G technology while introducing significant advances. The new 5G uses 5G New Radio to cover spectrums that had not been covered by 4G. The 5G network also supports a complex network that provides increased bandwidth.
Unlike previous technology, 5G manages networking through software, not through hardware. 5G is supported by cloud-based technology and business automation, which allows for the level of agility and flexibility that we, both as individuals and businesses, increasingly expect and rely on.
5G’s most startling innovation may be its speed. The new technology will be able to reach speeds of up to 20 Gbps. However, 5G is innovative in other areas as well.
5G represents a seismic shift in how network communication architecture functions. This can be felt throughout the technology and in its applications. Some of the more prominent examples of 5G innovation include its modulation schemes for wireless access, network slicing capabilities, automated network application lifecycle management, and software-defined networking. 5G also offers a high level of support for cloud-based technology.
Taken together, these advances mean that 5G offers significant support for IoT and other services, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications.
5G operates with unprecedented speed and greatly reduced latency as compared with 3G and 4G networks. This is what allows the technology to run applications seamlessly and to build strong, rapid connections.
A host of applications that were not previously possible are now within our reach. Self-driving cars, for example, will be able to process information and respond more quickly than ever before. The same can be said of IoT technology. Broadly, sensor-driven technology can now extend well beyond its current capabilities.
5G will usher in far greater, speedier levels of communication between devices and internet-enabled machines. This level of interconnection will also make it easy for users of mobile and other devices to easily access the cloud so that cloud computing can truly come into its own.
By extension, we can expect an uptick in remote work, as cloud computing makes it possible for employees to leave the office behind and still connect with necessary data, software, and tools, wherever in the world they may be.
Millimeter Wave Technology
5G technology makes use of a band of radio frequencies known as millimeter waves. They are sometimes also referred to as extremely high frequency (EHF) waves. Millimeter wave technology allows devices to transmit data on extremely small wavelengths, which dramatically opens up the amount of bandwidth available to 5G users.
The three talk networks – Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T – already offer 5G. Other telecommunications firms are now beginning to roll out their own 5G offerings. Of course, in order for these rollouts to be successful, it will be necessary to install new towers and antennas wherever 5G is to be used.
Towers, also known as masts, are necessary to transmit data between devices on the 5G network. To be effective, 5G needs a combination of both high bandwidth and mid- to low-range bandwidth, so that all possible needs can be met on the network.
As we have seen, many 5G applications will also make use of millimeter wave technology, which makes it possible to operate at high speeds without taking up the whole bandwidth. In order to facilitate millimeter wave technology, a full 5G rollout will necessarily mean the creation of a far denser network of transmitters.
5G can operate effectively with a combination, sometimes referred to as micro-infrastructure, of traditional mast towers and small cells.
5G technology allows data to be transmitted at astonishing speeds. Verizon, for example, asserts that its 5G service was able to deliver a maximum download speed that exceeded 1.0 gigabits per second for users during a test in Chicago.
In real terms, that meant that someone using Verizon’s 5G network in the Windy City had the capability to download a 600MB video in about 34 seconds.
Generally speaking, 5G networks appear to operate about 10 times faster than 4G networks do. It’s too soon to tell whether speeds will increase significantly as 5G infrastructure expands and 5G adoption increases.
5G speed offers astonishingly fast download speeds and constant connectivity. The technology means that we no longer have to wait to access data. Instead, we can transmit and receive information in real time. That video download at previously unheard-of speeds in Chicago is just one example among other virtually endless real-world implications.
The fast pace of 5G also means that remote workers will be able to seamlessly access files and software stored on the cloud. The possibilities for ways to use data-driven technology such as machine learning and AI are also far-reaching.
We should note, too, that although the high speed of 5G is very important, speed is not the only valuable quality that 5G has to offer. The technology also provides a high level of availability and reliability, allowing us to run devices and programs that require constant connectivity to function.
In order to handle new network demands, 5G technology requires significantly different antenna designs than 4G did. To date, it appears that using multiple antennas is a promising approach toward meeting the needs of 5G connectivity.
The goal of multiple antenna use is to resist multipath fading while also expanding the transmission capacity of the whole system. Using more antennas also reduces the risk of accidentally jamming or otherwise interfering with the signal. The antennas need to be deployed in multiple locations, both at the transmitter and the receiver sides.
Using a greater number of antennas will, in many cases, also lead to a reduction in energy expenditure. That's because it will be possible to target signals to individual users by means of the technology known as beamforming.
EHF waves, when used in 5G technology, will also necessitate new antenna designs. In many cases, it seems that the most effective solution may involve arranging a cluster of compact antennas at one base station so that different formats can be employed in the same location.
Cloud computing works best when there is reliable high-speed internet and constant connectivity. 5G networks have the capability to deliver much faster speeds along with far greater bandwidth. In other words, we are provided with greatly expanded capacity coupled with lower latency. This leads naturally to the easy adoption of cloud technologies for businesses and for individuals.
Making sense of all of the different names given to internet services may be confusing. In some cases, the names sound similar even when they actually mean very different things.
To be clear, 5G means “fifth generation.” 5G is the newest iteration of broadband cellular technology, which is notably speedier and more reliable than the fourth generation, or 4G.
5GHZ Fiber is something else altogether. Rather than a network, 5GHZ is a frequency for transmitting data over WiFi. The “H” stands for “hertz,” a unit of measurement that reflects the oscillation of radio waves. The “G” in 5GHZ means "giga," not “generation.”
Many Americans are still using 4G technology for their mobile and computing devices. However, as time goes by, more and more people (in the U.S. and around the world) are expected to transition to 5G, especially as they experience the dazzling new levels of speed, reliability, and accessibility that the new technology offers.
Novotech is a leading distributor of IoT hardware and services in North America. We work closely with telecommunications firms and other businesses, helping our clients meet their hardware and data needs. Get in touch today to start a conversation about what 5G technology means for your business.