We have reached the year 2021 and it is the era of 5G! 5G is being discussed for the last about 3 years and now its use has started in countries like China, America, Japan and even South Korea. As soon as 5G is discussed, we start talking about things like automatic vehicles, Augmented Reality and Internet of Things.
But amidst the discussion on this technology, many people must be curious to know what is this technology and how it will make a place among the existing technology. So let me give the chance to explain it to you.
Let me tell you that there will be difficult words at some places throughout this article, but you should be patient. I will try my best to explain the thing in easy manner.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks. Think of this in such a way that 100 times more speed then 4G network. Like fourth generation, fifth generation is also based on the same mobile networking principal.
The fifth generation wireless technology is capable of delivering ultra low latency (the speed of the signal between your phone and the tower) and multi-Gbps data speeds.
It is a software-based network, developed to enhance the speed and performance of wireless networks. This technology also increases the data quantity, which can be transmitted over the wireless network.
Five technologies form the basis of 5G technology
- Millimeter Wave
- Small Cells
- MAXIMUM MIMO
- Full Duplex
Five bases of 5G technology
5G technology is capable of operating in the “sub-6 band”, whose frequencies are generally between 3Ghz-6Ghz. Most of the current devices like mobiles, tablets and laptops also work in this frequency, whose reach is very high.
However, due to a lot of traffic in this system, now researchers are thinking of using above 6Ghz. They are set to work on 24Ghz-300Ghz spectrum which is considered as high-band. Experts also call it millimeter-wave.
Millimeter-wave 5G acquires a lot of data, which makes data transfer possible at speeds of up to 1 GB per second. Such technology is currently being used by telecom operators such as Verizon and AT&T in the US.
The second basis of fifth generation technology is speed Cells. Millimeter-wave has a problem with range, which is compensated by speed Celles. Since mm wave cannot operate in obstructions (Some physical disturbance), a large number of mini cell towers are installed throughout the area to relay the signal from the main cell tower. These small cells are placed at a shorter distance than the conventional tower so that users can get the fifth generation signal without any interruption.
The next basis of fifth generation technology is maximum MIMO, that is, multiple-input and multiple-output technology. Large cell towers are used to manage traffic using this technique. A regular cell tower that provides 4G network comes with 12 antennae that handle the cellular traffic in that area.
MIMO can support up to 100 antennas simultaneously which increases the capacity of the tower when there is heavy traffic. With the help of this technology, it helps to transmit 5G signal easily.
Beamforming is a technology that can continuously monitor multiple sources of frequency and when one signal is blocked, it switches to another stronger and higher speed tower. This ensures that specific data goes only in a specific direction.
Full duplex is a technology that helps transmit and receive data simultaneously in the same frequency band. This type of technology is used in landline telephones and short wave radios. It is like a two-way street, which sends equal traffic from both the sides.
Advantages of 5G Technology
Just imagine that you downloaded a full HD movie in under 3 seconds. 5G network is going to be so fast. According to Qualcomm, 5G is capable of delivering speeds of 20 GB per second in traffic capacity and network efficiency.
Also with mm wave, you can get a latency of 1ms which helps in establishing the connection quickly and reducing the network traffic.
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon also believes that the 5G network will give such speed, which can experience augmented reality in real time. This will also help in the development of hardware working on Augmented Reality.
This technology is going to be the basis for virtual reality, automatic driving and the Internet of Things. This is not only going to enhance your smartphone usage experience, but is also going to help in the development of medical, infrastructure and even manufacturing.
Bringing in our daily uses, 5G technology is going to be very expensive. Network operators will have to remove the existing system as it requires frequencies higher than 3.5Ghz which is a larger bandwidth than that used in 3G or 4G.
The bandwidth of the sub-6 Ghz spectrum is also limited, so its speed can be lower than that of millimeter-wave.
In addition, millimeter-wave is more effective over short distances and may not work in obstructions. It can also be absorbed by trees and during rain, which means that you will need a lot of hardware to implement 5G in a concrete way.
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5G expansion projected by 2025
However, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon believes that the number of 5G smartphones will be 750 million by 2022 and 5G connections should be 1 billion by 2023. It has taken more than two years for 4G to reach this figure.
Apart from this, there is also the issue of security and privacy with this technology, which will be known only after more use.
Can 5G work with 4G?
5G works better in spectrum frequencies above 6Ghz. Older technologies like 2G, 3G and 4G also operate on wireless bands that range between 3.5Ghz to 6Ghz.
According to a report by Android Central – 5G can work with 4G, but due to the use of 3Ghz-6Ghz spectrum, researchers are experimenting on shorter mm wave between 30Ghz-300Ghz beyond 6Ghz.
Such spectrum was earlier used for television but never for mobile devices. Moving to this spectrum means getting more bandwidth for mobile devices.
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Some technologies such as 5G NR (New Radio) and even 5Ge (AT&T proprietary LTE Advanced Network) work on 4G networks, but they are not as fast as mm wave, which means speeds in excess of 1 Gbps. need to install new hardware