At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, the mobile industry was buzzing about next generation of high-speed mobile service, that is 5G. Although 5G is not yet ready, it was time for carrier vendors to make up bold claims about what 5G will do for users. 5G is said to be rolled out by 2020. The technologies to be used in 5G are still being finalized, but there are some general themes everyone agrees on.
Some of them are:
- Data rates of tens of megabits per second for tens of thousands of users.
- Data rates of 100 megabits per second in metropolitan areas.
- 1 Gbps simultaneously to many workers on the same office floor.
- Significantly enhanced spectral or bandwidth efficiency, which in turn improves the coverage.
- Latency reduced significantly compared to LTE.
The mobile carriers will have to upgrade their massive infrastructures for 5G. Also, 5G is much more than just shuttling GBs to and from your phones quickly. The 5G revolution will cast a much wider net.
What exactly is 5G anyway?
By simple definition, 5G is nothing but fifth generation mobile networks which is beyond 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks. A new mobile generation has appeared approximately every 10 years since the first 1G system, which was introduced in 1982. Then first 2G was commercially deployed in 1992, and the 3G system appeared roughly around 10 years later. Around 10 years after that, 4G systems or the current LTE networks were fully standardized.
5G is a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the excessive number of devices that need a mobile internet connection. Not only will people be connected to each other but so will machines, automobiles, city infrastructure, public safety and much more.
How does it work?
There are already many major global telecoms working to create worldwide standards around 5G. Although most of those standards haven’t been solidified, experts expect it to have speed boosts and backwards compatibility with existing networks.
A basic cell phone is a little more than a combined radio transmitter and a radio receiver. When you chat over the phone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted as radio waves and converted back into sound by your friend’s phone.
When a new mobile wireless technology (5G) comes along, it’s assigned an extremely high radio frequency to allow very-wide-bandwidth radio channels able to support data-access speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
What companies are up to?
For example, Samsung unveiled its end-to-end portfolio of 5G mobile network products such as consumer devices for fixed wireless access connectivity, home router and so on. Chinese telecoms ZTE claimed to have “the world’s first gigabit phone”, capable of handling cellular speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
Despite the hype and excitement of 5G, the LTE connection on our current smartphones should improve in the meantime.