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5G- What It Is, Its Useful Applications, and Working

What is 5G?

We are halfway through 2020 and 5G is no longer a buzz word that was being highlighted during tech conferences. The foundations have been laid and the work has finally begun with 5G network deployments and a plethora of 5G-enabled smartphones rolling out left and right. So, 2020 is really the year of 5G.

Now, with the pandemic on the rise, the need to have super-fast networks has become a necessity pushing the next-generation of telecom networks to expand quicker on a global scale. This means that we can expect a significant technology shift this year revolutionizing mobile networks and massively influencing mobile app development practices.  

So, what exactly is 5G? And how fast is it going to be when it comes to the ground realities.

What is 5G?

For starters, 5G refers to ‘the fifth-generation’ mobile network. It is an entirely new network infrastructure gradually taking over 4G LTE. Just like how 4G took over 3G providing faster speeds and better reliability than its predecessor. Similarly, a decade before that, 3G made an appearance proving to be faster than 2G. Let’s not forget 1G but you get the picture.

So, 5G is the next big thing strengthening mobile connectivity and ultimately improving smartphone experience through faster data sharing with speeds that reach around 10 gigabits per second. Which is insane and 10x faster than any wireless technology including 4G out there. Imagine how fast your movies will download; in seconds or maybe a few minutes?

In a nutshell, 5G is ready to give ultra-high data speeds, low latency, reliability, massive network capacity, and smoother user experience for the users. Now, how does this technology works? Considering that 5G isn’t a modified upgrade of 4G but a complete system of its own.

How 5G Works

5G operates on three different spectrum bands.

Low-band Spectrum: It is a spectrum lower than 1GHz on the spectrum chart. Carriers within the US use the low-band spectrum for LTE as their primary.

Good part? Low band spectrum offers a wider coverage area and easy wall penetration. However, its highest data speed peaks around 100Mbps, only.

Mid-band Spectrum: Unlike the low-band spectrum, mid-band spectrum provides lower latency and faster speed, peaking up to 1Gbps. However, the mid-band spectrum fails to penetrate walls as effectively as the low-band spectrum.

High-band Spectrum: By the name, you must have guessed that the high-band spectrum delivers the best performance in terms of peak speeds that lead up to 10Gbps with extremely low latency. However, not all that glitters is gold and as great as high-band spectrum sounds, it has a major drawback. Unlike low-band and mid-band, the high-band spectrum doesn’t cover a large area and its building penetration is poor. Ironic? Yes.

Useful Applications of 5G

Applications of 5G are immense, but we will be covering a few areas that are being disrupted by 5G technology.

Broadband Upgrade

Once the shift to 5G happens, our interaction with technology on a day-to-day basis will be completely altered. With fast speeds provided by 5G, especially during the pandemic, speedy mobile broadband will become a necessity.

Autonomous Vehicles

With the rise of 5G, the possibilities will also increase along with it, especially in the realm of autonomous vehicles. In the near future, your smart car will be able to communicate with other vehicles. Moreover, with the help of fast and reliable networks like 5G, these autonomous cars will provide information about other cars and road conditions to each other; this will, in turn, improve the overall experience of the drivers and the passengers alike.

Take the example of a car taking a sudden break ahead. It can immediately communicate this to drivers and cars nearby so that you too can take the break-in due time. This will prevent a collision and potential casualties.

This 5G technology allowing cars to communicate with each other will improve the quality of traffic, pollution, and lessen the road casualties.

Health Care Sector

5G is set to revamp the healthcare sector. From quick transmittance of large image files, expansion of telemedicine, reliable real-time monitoring, to improved AR/VR computing – 5G is out there for a revolution.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is one sector that will be taken to the next level with the help of 5G. Since there are billions of connected devices, there is a dire need to have a faster network on which the enormous amount of data that is produced from these devices can be streamlined, analyzed, and processed at faster speeds without causing blockages and lags.

With 5G there won’t be any fast depletion of LTE data capacity and a huge number of such IoT devices can connect to a single station without overpowering or crashing it.

Remote Device Control

With very low latency of 5G, controlling heavy and dangerous machinery remotely will become a reality. Considering how risky and hazardous the conditions and environments can be, the technicians can control the machinery and equipment from afar or from anywhere around the world. This leaves little room for any life-threatening situations and allows accurate deliverance of tasks with the help of 5G.

Smart Cities

With COVID-19 looming over our world at large, with many recovered countries anticipating a second wave, there is a dire need for smart cities. These smart cities will be connected under the umbrella of a wide network of technology sharing important data with each other in order to keep the operations of the city run smoothly without having to manually and physically take matters in our own hands.

For instance, traffic control, students’ safety, and immediate detection of an upcoming natural disaster through highly sensitive and accurate sensors surrounding the key areas. All this communication will be possible with the deployment of 5G across the city.

Coronavirus has largely brought our attention to the need for smart cities where the lives of each human can be kept out of danger through remote surveillance and operations. 5G is the driving force behind this change. More so, it is the software development companies that are working towards mobile apps that with 5G technology can provide a seamless user experience.

Muniza Ashraf

Muniza Ashraf is a software engineer turned technical writer with extensive experience in various niches, especially all-things-tech-related. If she isn’t writing, she is researching to bring information in the best way possible. Currently, she is associated with KoderLabs, a custom software development company in Dallas.

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