If one considers the fact that the 4G mobile data service is still in the process of development when it comes to speed capabilities and coverage, he might wonder why he would need 5G at all. But the 5G standard is already here, with Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T already planning to introduce 5G infrastructure and phones in the upcoming months.
What are the main characteristics of this brand new technology? What are its benefits, and why should you care about it? To find answers to these questions, keep reading – we’ll take an in-depth look at this innovative standard and analyze its advantages. Many Internet news portals reported on this last week and we even saw Motorola announcing a mod for one of their phones that will help the device utilize the new mobile standard. Here’s our breakdown of everything we learned so far.
The Key Features
Here is a list of characteristics that may turn 5G into a real game-changer:
- Faster Speeds
As you probably already know, 5G will be a lot faster than all of the previous generation networks. Some experts even claim that it will be as much as 100 times faster than 4G, which is very impressive.
Specifically, 5G technology offers speeds of up to 10 GB/s, making it possible to download a full HD movie under just 10 seconds. That’s a huge increase in speed when compared to 10 minutes on the fastest 4G networks.
- Greater Capacity
The brand new 5G standard also introduces greater capacity. In other words, it will allow the networks to cope better with all those high-demand applications, such as simultaneous HD streaming or virtual reality experiences.
- Lower Latency
Another benefit that comes with 5G is the lower latency. This means less lag or delay while you’re using your smartphone or other devices. Latency stands at around 50 milliseconds with 4G, and this number will decrease to the impressive one millisecond with 5G – the lag becomes undetectable to the user.
The 5G networks will also be far more flexible. The technology of “network slicing” leads to a physical network being divided into a number of virtual networks, letting the operator use the correct “slice” depending on the needs of a particular situation.
Experts say that 5G will be “ultra-reliable”, which, in other words, means that you can forget about weak connectivity or dropped calls. This will allow more “critical” use situations, especially when it comes to things like connected cards and digital health.
- Better Battery Life
Even though all of this sounds like something that could take a serious toll on your battery, the 5G technology is actually expected to extend the battery life of many modern devices by up to ten or more times.
Who is Launching it and When?
AT&T will probably be the first company with mobile 5G – they plan to launch this network in 12 cities before 2019. Even though they didn’t give any particular details, this will probably be the so-called ‘millimeter wave 5G”, which requires dense networks of cells but delivers impressive speeds. However, it is important to mention that the company’s rollout will almost certainly be slowed down by the lack of compatible phones – Qualcomm says that they won’t introduce 5G devices before 2019.
Verizon, on the other hand, will start out by introducing a 5G home internet service, which will use home routers with fixed antennas. Even though you won’t be able to tote these things around, you’ll be able to enjoy gigabit internet in the comfort of your own home. The most significant benefit of the 5G home internet is a huge capacity – most homes now expect at least 200 GB of monthly usage, and that’s something that carriers simply can’t competitively offer with 4G as there is not enough capacity on this network’s cell sites.
T-Mobile decided to take a different approach – they are making a nationwide 5G network that will start out in 2019 and have a full nationwide coverage by 2020. Sprint plans to launch 5G smartphones early in the next year. The company’s CTO hints at Mobile World Congress in February.
Even though the change won’t happen overnight, 5G will undoubtedly bring a myriad of advantages to users and businesses. Many expect the 5G to be the leading force in the “fourth industrial revolution”, where everything is digitized and connected. Pretty exciting, wouldn’t you say?