If you have a keen eye for tech news then you might have already heard about 5G. 5G networking system was almost like a dream for most people only a few years ago. But now, due to tremendous progress in the mobile communication sector, it is no longer a dream but a reality.
In this article, I will discuss in detail all you need to know about the new 5G mobile communication technology. I will also discuss the pros and cons of 5G and its impact on our day-to-day lives.
What Is 5G?
5G or 5th generation is the latest and the fastest iteration of telecommunication technology. Up until now, 4G LTE was the fastest and newest form of the mobile network. With the 5G network, a user can browse the internet and download contents up to 20 times faster compared to the 4G network.
For instance, the fastest 4G LTE network can provide users with a download speed of 5-12 Mbps (megabits per second) with 200 ms (milliseconds) of latency. On the other hand, the fastest 5g networks can download any content from the internet with a blazingly fast speed of 1Gbps (gigabit per second) having minimal latency.
How 5G Works?
Just like all the previous generations, 5G also relies on mobile towers to broadcast its signal to the 5G-enabled devices. But there are a significant amount of differences in the 5G mobile towers.
New 5G antennas will use a technology known as massive MIMO (multiple inputs, multiple outputs). This technology will enable the transmitters to transfer and receive more data at the same time.
One of the most interesting and exciting features that 5G incorporates is Beamforming. So basically, beamforming enables MIMO antennas to steer the network preciously to the desired user with the help of an advanced signal processing algorithm. This will increase efficiency because it will reduce the chances of radio interference.
Moreover, the 5G network will use the electromagnetic spectrums that are not currently being used by the existing 4G network. Doing so will reduce the chances of data clog up which will ensure a much faster and reliable connection than 4G LTE.
Types Of 5G Band
There are currently three types of 5G bands. Low-Band, Mid-band, and High-band. Each of the bands has its own advantages and disadvantages. Many major 5G carriers are using one of these bands according to their requirements to transmit the 5G network. An elaborate description of each type of band is given below.
1. Low-Band 5G
Low band network transmission system is most commonly used for transmitting the 5G network to the general masses. Low band 5G works between 600Mhz to 1Ghz frequency. Although they work in the same spectrum as the 4G band because of the new transmission technology, low-band 5G can provide a much faster speed than 4G LTE.
One of the biggest advantages of using the low-band spectrum is the fact that it can cover a wide area. That is why international mobile carriers like t-mobile are using low-band 5G spectrum to cover a very wide area with the latest 5G network.
2. Mid-Band 5G
Mid-band 5G network operates between 2Ghz to 5Ghz frequencies. The caveat of using mid-band frequency is, this method has a limited operational area. Meaning, it can not transmit the 5G network as wide as the low-band 5G can. But, you can get a much faster 5G connection using the mid-band 5G network system.
3. High-Band 5G
Operating between the frequencies of 30-50Ghz, the high-band 5G can provide the fastest 5G network connectivity. But it also provides the shortest range among all the other bands of 5G. High-band 5G is easily affected by obstacles like walls of buildings which effectively shortens its range.
The idea of 5G may sound very intriguing but the reality is 5G is still in its infancy. Most of the countries in the world do not have any kind of 5G coverage. As of October of 2020, only 38 countries have some kind of 5G connectivity. But then again, only a few cities in those countries have 5G coverage.
Among all 5G-using countries, South Korea has the most 5G coverage and almost 1 million 5G users. The USA and Japan are also not very far behind in terms of 5G users.
Pros And Cons Of 5G Network
Just like any other technology, 5G also has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages and disadvantages of the 5G network are given below.
Advantages Of 5G
#1. The main advantage of 5G is its astonishingly fast speed. As mentioned earlier, 5G networks can peak at the speed of 1 Gigabit per second.
#2. 5G technology can revolutionize machine-to-machine communication and connect billions of devices under the same network. It has the potential to completely transform the industrial and telecommunication sectors.
#3. 5G network can also drastically reduce network latency. This will enable us to make faster and precise communication with machines. It can revolutionize the autonomous driving sector. Low latency will also play a very important role in remote medical care and online treatments.
#4. Probably the most important advantage of 5G is, it will bring the whole world closer. With the help of 5G, we will be able to connect whole cities and countries.
#5. Machine learning and virtual reality will also be accessible to also everyone because of the 5G technology.
Disadvantages Of 5G
#1. The main disadvantage of the 5G network is its cost. It is more expensive and more labor-intensive to setup 5G towers.
#2. 5G requires more cellular towers for proving network coverage to a wider area. As a result, more infrastructures need to be built.
#3. Although 5G does not scientifically cause any harm to human health, many conspiracy theorists are spreading misinformation and blaming 5G for the recent covid pandemic. This blame game is causing social unrest and stalling the progress of 5G development.
We are not very far from global 5G coverage. It is expected that within the next few years, almost all the major countries of the world will enjoy the benefits of 5G connectivity. We are now noticing more and more 5G-enabled smartphones entering the mobile market which is a great sign and a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, this article helped you in gaining a brief knowledge about 5G.
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