We can no longer live without our mobile phones. These small devices have become an integral part of our daily life. We talk to our loved ones on them, use them to play online games on sites like sevenjackpots or to conduct our business.
An area that doesn’t have network connectivity is a place that people prefer to avoid. We have become so attached to our phones, which are constantly being upgraded, that it is hard to believe that just 30 years ago, none of this was even thought possible. Now, a new era of mobile communication is in sight.
Mobile communication has evolved at a pace that no one who was working on this tech at the time of its invention could have imagined. For the sake of simplicity, the development stages of mobile networks have been divided into generations and most people who use smartphones are quite familiar with them.
How We Got Here
First came 1G which was the first generation of mobile connectivity which made things like cellular calling and SMS a thing people could actually. 2G followed a few years later and for the first time ever, people could use the internet on their phones! It was extremely slow but it did give the people a taste of what it would be like to use the internet on their phone and that was an extremely appealing prospect.
3G was introduced in the late 2000s and it finally gave mobile internet speed it had sorely needed. As 3G kept on becoming more and more popular, a new type of phone started to emerge. The smartphone, that most people are probably going this article on can be called a grandchild of 3G technology as without it becoming a worldwide phenomenon, they might have never existed.
The mid to late 2010s are the era of 4G. While a few people were very satisfied with the speed 3G was giving them, a majority wanted more. Videos calls and watching movies and TV shows online was starting become a trend and the speed 3G had was not up to this task. 4G was created to feed the demand the people had for speed and it would have taken a lot of time before it reached a majority of the people of India, had a certain company not entered the scene.
To say that the arrival Jio accelerated the growth of 4G in India would be a gross understatement as in just under a year of it’s launch to the public, the majority of smartphone users had upgraded to 4G. A culture of extreme internet usage finally became mainstream. Things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc would never have been possible without the rise of 4G and a lot of startups wouldn’t exist without it either.
Why 4G is not Enough
But 4G has a lot of limitations and more are coming to light as the number of users increases. Seamless video calling and buffer free streaming HD videos is still an objective that 4G has difficulty achieving sometimes and as more and more people start using it, the networks will eventually become extremely clustered and the entire network might just start to fall apart.
There is no other solution other than moving ahead and work has already started on the next generation of mobile networks.
5G is just around the corner—relatively speaking.
What is 5G?
5G is the generation that is not only going to solve all the problems that 4G is facing, or will eventually face, but rather it will upgrade the entire experience of using the internet to a completely new level. Imagine if a movie that takes 10-15 minutes to download gets downloaded in a second. A group video call that flows so seamlessly, even in HD, that it literally feels like you are in the same room with the people on the call.
That is just the tip of the whole iceberg of potential that 5G has here is everything that should know the technology was the coming future.
The Technologies Involved
The biggest hurdle that is preventing 5G from becoming available right is that the current infrastructure that is being used is not enough to support it. The basic idea behind 5G is to use frequencies that are much higher than the one used for 3G and 4G, thereby ensuring that the 5G network is clutter free but using these frequencies has its own set of problems.
Waves of the high frequencies have trouble penetrating buildings and can be absorbed by the environment which makes them impossible to work with if any sort of consistency is required.
The solution to this by using something knows as “Small Cell” which are basically just small network towers which will have to be placed all over the city to that the moment a wave gets blocked, another wave can take it’s place instantly.
But putting up these many towers will require a lot of money and just how viable of an option they are is something that hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet.
Aside from these higher frequencies and small cells, massive MIMO’s will have to put on cell towers to ensure better and faster speed of the network and beamforming will have to used to ensure that signals are sent exactly where they should be. Both of these technologies are still being worked upon and it will be a while before reach they reach a stage where they can be properly tested in a major city environment.
The True Potential of 5G
While setting 5G is up is going to prove to be a herculean task, once it is done will almost certainly we worth the effort. People often think that they don’t need insane levels of internet speed but that is where they are wrong.
The reason Internet-of-Things—or IoT—hasn’t taken off in a big way yet is because the network speeds just aren’t up to the mark. Self-driving cards already exist but the network is too slow for them to be safely put on the road as even the delay of a few milliseconds can lead to a catastrophe.
5G has the potential to fix all of this and make IoT into the phenomenon it should have already been. Everything from your bed to your coffee machine to your smartwatch all will be connected to each other through IoT and 5G will it the speed it needs to make everything work in a synchronous manner.
5G will allow self-driving cars to not only become commonplace but just a better mode of transportation in general. Every car on the road will know the location of each other and then drive on the road according, reducing the chances of getting into gridlock or an accident to under 10%.
When will 5G be here
Unfornutely this is a question that is not easy to answer. In 2015, companies like AT&T and Nokia had plans to launch 5G services by 2020 but that is a deadline that now seems impossible to meet. Saying that 5G would be here in the next 5 years would be making a somewhat realistic estimate and while there is a chance that it will arrive before then, it doesn’t seem likely.
But regardless of when it will arrive, it will be extremely revolutionary and when combined with other technologies like blockchain and cloud computing, it would definitely be something can actually change the world for the better in more than one way.