What is 5G technology?
- 5G is the fifth generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
- 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive- network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.
What are the differences between the previous generations of mobile networks and 5G?
The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.
First generation - 1G
1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.
Second generation - 2G
Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access).
Third generation - 3G
Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).
Fourth generation - 4G LTE
2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.
- 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G all led to 5G, which is designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before.
- 5G is a unified, more capable air interface. It has been designed with an extended capacity to enable next-generation user experiences, empower new deployment models and deliver new services.
- With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem into new realms. 5G will impact every industry, making safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, digitized logistics — and more — a reality.
What are its advantages / uses?
5G opens cutting-edge ways of improving safety and sustainability.
- Smarter electricity grids for greatly reduced carbon emissions
- More connected vehicles sharing data to prevent road collisions
- Faster deployment of emergency services to accidents
- Connected sensors that can detect and warn of natural disasters early
- Drones becoming a key tool to accelerate and support emergency situation response
- Remote expertise with specialists smoothly consulting/diagnosing patients elsewhere
5G is the foundation for flexible, efficient and responsible business.
- Production lines autonomously reacting to supply and demand
- Digital replicas that can warn about real machinery faults ahead of time
- Logistic networks autonomously routing goods based on real-world conditions
- Full traceability down to the individual item at warehouses and ports
- Remote access to powerful robots and vehicles for improved safety in risky environments
- Increased use of IoT in agriculture to efficiently grow crops
5G sets the stage for more immersive entertainment and more engaging education.
- Greater realism in VR, AR and extended reality (XR) with lighter devices
- Delivering sensory experiences, like touch, through devices
- More engaging methods of teaching through immersive content
- Immersive virtual meetings to boost remote team productivity
- Stable and reliable connectivity in crowded spaces
- New angles and interactions for live and remote event spectators
It is further used across three main types of connected services, including enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and the massive IoT.
- Enhanced mobile broadband
In addition to making our smartphones better, 5G mobile technology can usher in new immersive experiences such as VR and AR with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit.
- Mission-critical communications
5G can enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, available, low-latency links like remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
- Massive IoT
5G is meant to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility—providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.
What are few underlying challenges?
- Expensive Enabling Infrastructure: Besides the spectrum, 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system. The major flaw of data transfer using 5G is that it can't carry data over longer distances. Hence, 5G needs to be augmented to enable infrastructure.
- 5G-A Critical Infrastructure: 5G due to its expansive applications forms the part of critical infrastructure. This makes the consequences of the networks failing or being deliberately sabotaged in a cyber-attack significantly more serious.
- Financial Hurdles: Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has also expressed concerns about the financial health of the telecom sector (AGR issue).
- Also, one of the major challenges is standardising an approach and bringing all of the major technology partners on board.