What you need to know about 5G technology

5G Networks
5G Networks

This year, a great technological change will finally begin. It is an update of our wireless systems that will only happen once in this decade and that mobile users in the United States can start using in a matter of months is 5G technology

However, it’s not just about faster phones. The transition to the new fifth generation cellular networks – known as 5G for short – will also impact many other types of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to each other . This new era will go beyond the current wireless technology, known as 4G, and will offer mobile internet speeds that will allow people to download entire movies in seconds and will most likely bring great changes to video games, sports and shopping.


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Officials in the United States and China believe that 5G networks will give them a competitive advantage. Faster networks could help expand the use of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

Surely we will hear more about the 5G networks at events such as the big consumer electronics convention CES this January in Las Vegas and the MWC Barcelona (formerly known as the Mobile World Congress) in February in Spain. Device manufacturers are introducing devices that will integrate it.

Samsung recently showed prototypes of 5G smartphones. Many other manufacturers are rushing to be part of the trend, although Apple is not expected to participate in the first wave of 5G. Analysts predict that iPhones with the new technology will not arrive until 2020. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

This is what you should know.

What exactly is 5G technology?
Strictly speaking, 5G is a set of fundamental technical rules that define the functioning of a cellular network, including the radio frequencies that are used and the way in which various components such as microprocessors and antennas process radio signals and exchange data.

Since the first cell phones were shown in the seventies, engineers from several companies have agreed on the specifications of cellular networks, which are assigned a new generation of technology every decade, more or less . To obtain the benefits of 5G technology, users will have to buy new cell phones, while providers will have to install new transmission equipment to offer this faster service.

How fast will the network be?
The answer depends on where you live, what wireless services you use, and when you decide to adopt 5G technology.

Qualcomm, the maker of wireless microprocessors, said it had demonstrated maximum download speeds in the 5G network of 4.5 gigabits per second, but predicts that initial speeds will average around 1.4 gigabits. That translates to a speed almost twenty times faster than the current 4G experience.

The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in the emission of continuous video of higher resolution. In addition, downloading a movie with the average speeds quoted by Qualcomm would take seventeen seconds with the 5G network, compared to the six minutes required in a 4G.

For example, instead of remembering to download a season of your favorite series before arriving at the airport, you could do so while waiting in line to board the plane, said Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice president.

Is that the only speed that matters?
No. There is another type of speed, a lag known as latency, which may become more important with the 5G network.

When you use your mobile phone-when searching for something online, for example-the answer is not immediate. The most common is that there is a lag from 50 to several hundred milliseconds, in part because signals must pass between different switch centers of service providers. The 5G network, which uses a newer network technology, was designed to reduce latency and to be only a few milliseconds. It was also designed to send signals more reliably than with the first cellular networks, which often dispense percentages of data that are not essential for tasks such as watching a movie on a cell phone.

This improvement could bring many benefits, especially in fields such as virtual reality, VR. Higher resolution VR applications generally require bulky devices that are connected by a cable to the closest personal computer to generate 3D images. With the 5G network, this could be transmitted wirelessly to other machines, so users could move and it would be easier to develop viewers the size of eyeglasses, said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm’s semiconductor division.

In the related field of augmented reality, people could point their cell phone camera at a football game and watch both the live video on the screen and the overlapping statistics of the players or other data, said Patrick Moorhead, analyst in Moor Insights & Strategy.

In addition, the impact of the 5G network extends to medicine and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections.

“If we are talking about remote surgery or connected cars, there should not be too long latency times,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president of Ericsson, the cellphone manufacturer.

When will the 5G network arrive?
The answer for phone users in the United States seems to be the second quarter of 2019; The precise moment is uncertain.

The countries that are expected to follow the example of the United States with deployments of the 5G network in 2019 are the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, China, South Korea and Australia, according to a schedule compiled by Qualcomm.

Should I buy a smartphone that works with the 5G network immediately?
“I would not buy a 5G cell phone until it supports the network in one of its low frequency bands,” said Michael Thelander, president of Signals Research, a wireless services consultancy.

What do you think?

Written by Geekybar

Linguist-translator by education. I have been working in the field of advertising journalism for over 10 years.

For over 7 years in journalism. Half of them are as editor. My weakness is doing mini-investigations on new topics.


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