What is 5G?

5G is the next generation of mobile communication standard prepared by the world telecommunication industry after 4th generation LTE.

Chipmaker Qualcomm says 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds of 10 to 20 times faster than the current LTE speed of 45Mbps on average, and 100 times wider processing capacity. 5G connectivity will also enable users to download a movie in seconds, or to stream a 4K movie without any buffering.

It is noteworthy that it can implement ‘Ultra Low Latency’ which minimizes communication delay by dramatically increasing the response speed compared to existing communication method.

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The response rate refers to the rate at which a signal arrives between devices communicating with each other; the faster the response, the more information you can send and receive faster. 

Usually, if the response speed is 10 milliseconds, that is, a hundredth of a second, it is regarded as real-time communication. Wireless LANs can achieve a fast response time of 4 to 5 milliseconds but are less stable as more devices connect to the network. LTE can connect many numbers of devices at the same time, but the response speed is only 30 milliseconds.

On the other hand, 5G can reduce the response speed to 0.25 milliseconds by emerging high-speed wireless communication with the advantages of LTE and wireless LAN.  This enables vivid virtual reality that was difficult to realise with today’s communication technology, using the internet of things to exchange data with many devices up to 1,000 more devices per metre than 4G, and self-driving cars and drones. 

Disadvantages of 5G

A faster and better 5G also has its drawbacks; it’s vulnerable. 5G is designed as open type, because of this there is the risk of hacking.

In addition, a realistic problem can be the increased communication costs when 5G services are implemented.

5G communication technology use cases: 

There are already a few recent use cases of 5G:

  • The NHS remotely monitored important changes to a patient’s health.
  • AI and holographic technology being trialled by EE
  • LG and Doosan remotely controlled an excavator in another continent
  • Homes and business will benefit from fixed wireless access with no need for a landline.
  • A new report suggests 5G will make factories super smart
  • 5G and the connected car

When 5G communication featuring real-time high-speed transmission of large-volume data is commercialised, it becomes possible to provide VR contents for medical practitioners and remote AR support programs for solving problems in manufacturing lines. 

Regarding Japan NTT DoCoMo, presented 5G-based telemedicine technology at MWC2018 in Barcelona, Spain. It will enable to remote hospitals and receive medical images in real time. 

O2’s 2018 report forecasts that productivity savings will earn the UK £6 billion using 5G. It also finds that 5G support tools such as smart fridges, smart electric autonomous vehicles and grids through lower food, council and fuel bills will save householders £450 a year. 

Ultra-low latency communication technology, where many devices send and receive data at high speed, is expected to bring new changes to our society. 

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