5G, the network of the future, does not only connect our mobile phones and laptops to the internet, but will be so widespread that even vehicles and machinery will be connected.
For businesses, industries, and indeed everyday people, this means we will have an increase in what we consider ‘devices’ around us. Also, the quality of the network they are connected to will be elevated.
Cisco estimate that about half of all devices in 5G networks will eventually be different from mobile phones.
The 5G network enables the connection of at least one million units per square kilometre. It can be surveillance cameras, alarms, and sensors, for example in industrial environments. 4G can only handle around 10,000 units on the same surface.
Magnus Lendell, Head of Technology at AddSecure.
So how is this all possible? And how is the world of 5G going to work?
The anatomy of the 5G network
When 5G reaches the everyday users, the most noticeable improvement will be seen in the latency of our connected devices. This means, the speed of how long a device takes to communicate with another device or perform an action and record data will be quicker.
To put it into perspective, current 4G latency works at around 30 milliseconds, whereas 5G latency has been seen as low as 1 millisecond. This is where the immediateness comes from when interacting with 5G connected devices.
Because 5G uses a high bandwidth of radio frequency to work, it is far quicker than any other network we have seen before. It can transmit great quantities of data however it is not as strong in the range department as 4G is.
If you live in a city or urban area you may have already begun to see installation happening, but to remedy the issue of range cell cites will need to be installed around towns and cities to ensure that the 5G network works. They can be seen at the top of lamp posts or on the corner of buildings, acting as a spider’s web of 5G connectivity.
5G network can operate on three different spectrum bands, each with vary benefits:
Low band is the most common, used today for 4G networks. While the coverage is the widest and it provides good wall penetration, for 5G the speed is not as good.
Mid band allows for faster speed and better latency, and in real-life used provides the most reliable connection for people.
High band is the best suited ban for 5G, however despite the incredible speeds, the coverage and wall penetration provide the pitfall, and so currently it is not as widely used.
Why is latency & capacity so important?
If a network has improved latency like 5G does, it opens a whole host of possibilities for how the world will look going forward. Everything, from how we use our devices, to how industries and infrastructures work.
Quick latency means devices can be controlled remotely with a near immediate effect. For communications, logistics, and manufacturing this can hugely improve operational efficiencies and help businesses and governments cope with the increasing demands and complexities of globalization.
Furthermore, it will open the door for developments in advanced technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality. 5G will allow for seamless and instantaneous interactions with these devices and networks, giving them a near real-time feel and functionality.
Capacity is equally as important, and in the world of 5G the capacity for more connected devices will be as much as 1,000 times more than what current 4G networks can handle. This means data speeds in overcrowded areas won’t be as affected, for example in cities, festivals, or arena settings.
Also, companies will be able to gather a process much larger amounts of customer data, reducing the likelihood of missing out on important information about their customers or marketplace.
The world as we know it and 5G
Bearing this information about the technology itself in mind, what does this mean for the tangible things and systems around us? Truly, at the moment the possibilities are endless. However, we can be confident that the roll out of 5G will accelerate many social causes and goals, such as equality and sustainability.
By gathering and analysing data from monitors and devices at record times and quantities, we can make better decisions when it comes to resource consumption. Moreover, key contributors to the climate crisis and global warming can be supported to reduce their impact and inefficiencies. For example, telematics and IoT devices are already helping the transport industry to reduce fuel consumption. With 5G, this will only improve and accelerate fuel reduction.
When it comes to healthcare, 5G too will help to automate and optimize various systems and functions that help us to care for our ageing and unwell population. Also, huge leaps and bounds could be made in certain developing medicines, treatments, and vaccines. An incredibly important area as more pandemics and viruses are predicted for the future.
5G and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The potential of 5G is a little mid-boggling, however, it is exciting progression for mankind. With such an influx of connected devices, IoT will step into the spotlight, and so will the need for secure communications.
With more connections to the network and more devices, comes more risk of hacking and other malicious attacks. This elevated need for security, and the effect 5G will have on your device’s battery life is perhaps the only current draw backs. However, as 5G and IoT becomes more deep rooted into not only our daily lives, but also our very societies, security mustn’t be overlooked.
The final thing to note, is with the progression of 5G comes the sunsetting of older copper, 3G and 4G networks. As these older technologies drop off the grid so to speak, certain life and business critical applications will become obsolete and cease to work. In some instances, this could cause big problems.
Therefore, it is impotent to get ahead of the game and ensure any applications of your own that are reliant on these technologies are upgraded to 5G.
The Technology shift guide
Big changes are happening to mobile networks around the world, and you need to adapt with it to secure your communications. The changes are especially crucial for critical systems used to solve business and societal functions.
Understand what you need to do to ensure your networks and communications are maintained, click the link below.