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Everything about 5G- The Next Big Revolution


A cell tower
A cell tower

Welcome to Youth Motivator. This article details everything regarding the 5G technology.

Introduction-

In 5G, the alphabet G denotes generation. That means, 5G refers to fifth generation of communication network.

Why is 5G significant?

In India, the use of internet is increasing rapidly, thanks to the advent of reliance Jio, the cost of data packs have come down significantly and now almost everyone is enjoying 4G LTE on smartphones without burning a hole in his or her pocket.

The major problem with 4G-

Consider the 4G bandwidth like a highway or road, the more the traffic gets, the movement of vehicles becomes slower.

Same with 4G, as everyone is using 4G, the 4G bandwidth is not enough to cater the needs of such a huge population simultaneously. This causes saturation of bandwidth.
As a result of which the data speeds of 4G has come down.

5G solves this problem, as in 5G everyone will enjoy faster data speed irrespective of bandwidth saturation.

The major downsides of 5G-

Cost-

As the 5G is a new technology, it is normal for it to be expensive.
5G increases the cost of a single mobile phone by around 15,000 rupees.
So, initially one can expect 5G in only premium mobiles.

Even if you import any 5G mobile, it won’t work in your country, as 5G bands change with country.
Even if you buy a 5G mobile launched in India now, you will be disappointed because even now 4G network coverage is not so good, so how can you expect 5G network coverage to be good?

5G roll-outs are expected only for a few selected major cities, in the late 2019.

When can we expect affordable 5G phones?

We can expect affordable 5G phones around the middle of 2020.
It would be a wise decision to buy a 5G phones only in the year 2020, as 5G is a new technology, it might contains some issues. So, with time the issues will get ironed out, buying a 5G phone at that time would be a good decision.

Speed of 5G-

Theoretically, the data speed of 5G is around 10 Gbps.
But this might vary in real-world scenarios.

Comparison of 5G with other networks-

For downloading a 2 hour High Definition (HD) movie, the time required is as follows-
In 3G network- 26 hours
In 4G network- 6 minutes
In 5G network- 3.6 seconds.

Latency-

5G is believed to improve latency by a huge margin when compared to 4G.
Latency (response time) is nothing but the time taken for a command (search) given by a user in his browser to reach the server.

In 4G network, the latency time is 45 milliseconds but in 5G it is just 1 millisecond.
So, you can expect instant search results because of negligible latency.
And one can watch videos in high quality without any buffering.

Autonomous cars-

5G gives a major boost to Internet of things (IoT) which also includes autonomous cars.
5G helps in seamless communication between autonomous cars and cloud, this helps to improve the safety of pedestrians and the occupants of autonomous cars.

Also self-driving cars can commute with each other and with the sensors located in surroundings in real time.

Better signal quality-

The antenna length of a device to get connected to internet should be long in case of 4G, but in case of 5G, even with small antennas, the devices can be connected to internet.
So, in mobiles more number of 5G antennas can be installed for better signal quality.

The success of internet of things like smart home mainly depends on the latency, that is internet of things will gain popularity with 5G due to negligible latency.

Can be used to perform remote surgeries-

Another interesting use of 5G, is that 5G can also be used to perform surgeries remotely, as the latency is negligible surgeons can remotely perform surgeries with the help of robots.

Focus on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)-

One can view and experience any event occurring in any corner of the world in real-time at the comfort of his home.

This is possible by wearing a VR headset to which high quality data is transmitted by the cameras located at the place of event.

Requires new hardware-

During transition from 3G to 4G, existing towers were upgraded without any major changes in hardware by telecom companies.

But 5G network needs very complex, sophisticated equipment and new infrastructure, all of which are expensive. And also setting up 5G network is more time-consuming.

Change in spectrum-

In the case of 3G and 4G networks, the spectrum ranging from 3 kHz to 6 GHz is being employed.
But for 5G, the spectrum ranging from 30 GHz to 300 GHz (millimeter wave) is needed. Now, this spectrum is empty.

The change in spectrum was needed because of sheer increase in data requirements by various things, like Internet of Things, etc.
5G can easily handle any number of devices with very high speed without getting congested.

Roadblocks-

In this spectrum, the waves cannot travel a long distance. The waves are capable of covering only small distances unlike that of 3G and 4G. The 3G and 4G towers can cover an area of range up to 30 kilometres distance.

But the 5G waves are small waves, which can travel only upto 300 meters.
As the frequency increases (this result in faster connection and more data transfer) the connection range decreases.

So the need arises to set up low-powered mini base stations (cells) for every 300 meters.

Also, the penetration power of 5G waves is not that great, 5G waves find it difficult to penetrate walls and travel in bad environment conditions, like raining.
So, to overcome these shortcomings, small cell systems is being employed.

By employing these small cells, the signal strength and their penetration power can greatly be improved.

More power efficient-

5G is more power efficient and provides reliable connection when compared to 4G.
5G also enables to stream 8K videos effortlessly.

Evolution-

The 5G technology is rapidly evolving to answer the challenges like increasing coverage area, as mentioned above.

New technologies used in 5G-

Massive MIMO is used in 5G.
Beamforming is focusing of these small waves in a particular direction, so that it can travel more distance and can provide a clear signal. Beamforming also reduces interference.

So, a 5G tower can identify your location and can provide good signals to you.
Also, the capacity of towers can be increased to a great extent in MIMO.

In 4G antenna, up to 15 antennas can be accommodated but in 5G antennas the number can go over 100. So, basically a tower can handle much more number of users.

Full duplex technology-

By this technology, one can experience greater upload and download speeds.
Qualcomm has launched a 5G modem by name X50, it claims to provide speeds up to 5Gbps.

Mediatek is also working to bring 5G chips to budget handsets.

Scenarios in USA and India-

In USA, mobile carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are working on 5G.
And in India, the Government of India has announced to bring 5G by the year 2020.

The top contenders for purchasing 5G bands in India are BSNL, Jio and Airtel.
We can expect commercial use of 5G from the year 2021.
Theoretically, 5G must provide us with 15-20 Gbps speed.

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