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5G Is the Future

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Currently, most of the mobile devices work with 4G, the fourth mobile generation that allows connections much faster than the previous one and was implemented in 2009. In a world where technology is growing exponentially, the fifth stage is closer to us than it might seem. “With 5G not only will only connect people, but also everything will be connected”, – highlighted Tomas Alonso, director of product engineering at Orange Spain in 2017 Mobile World Congress.

This revolutionary new generation has, among other things, four main advantages:

  • Faster speed. This implies that 5G networks will be able to send huge amounts of data very quickly, so we will be able to exchange data almost instantly. Downloading speeds could reach 10 gigabits per second, which means more than ten times the speed of the fourth generation.
  • Lower latency. There will be shorter delays in our interactions with connected devices and the lag will almost disappear, so we will be able to do network activities in a more fluently way and the possibility of doing high-precision labors such a remote medical operation. In fact, the latency could descend until only one millisecond.
  • Higher density of connected devices. The number of devices that can be connected to the network will pass from a hundred thousand per square kilometer to one million, because of the wider 5G spectrum band which allows more simultaneous transmissions as there are more radio waves frequencies to be used. This will help businesses to accommodate the vast number of gears in their network infrastructure and support a large number of connections of people and devices in reduced spaces.
  • Greater energy efficiency. This change to 5G directly implies a better energy efficiency in all its infrastructure that we will be able to see in the battery life of our own devices. Actually, it is believed that it could improve to a 90% reduction of power consumption.

As a result, from these advantages we can conclude that 5G will satisfy the incoming demand on new and better applications and services that 4G is not allowed to satisfy due its technical limits and will improve the quality of service (QoS), bringing to the final users faster and more efficient devices. There are a brand number of new applications that can succeed due to 5G implementation, especially those which needs extremely low latency and high reliability, like telemedicine, autonomous driving, and smart factories as we could see in the next points:

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  1. The World of Work. Perhaps the field that will beneficiate the most from 5G will be the industrial and commercial Internet of Things (IoT). According to ABI Research, more than 500 million objects will be tracked by 2023. In order to automate dangerous or repeated jobs, smart factories will implement intelligent robots. Location beacons will also change the way products pass through shipping and distribution, from stock. These innovations will increase incredibly fast when 5G wireless networks are set up, approximately 125 billion IoT devices will be usable by 2030. “IoT will be a significant driver of what’s coming to be known as ‘the fourth industrial revolution’”, – says Greg Bollella, VMware vice president in the office of the CTO.
  2. Telemedicine. When ultra-fast wireless networks are available, we will be able to do our medical visits virtually and health care experts will manage to detect any irregularity or problem in our bodies by wearables that will capture all the vital information to analyze. “5G will open the door to important developments in personalized, anywhere, anytime medicine”, – says Dr. David Teece, professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
  3. Driverless cars. Nearly 95% of traffic accidents are caused by human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration. Every year, removing people from behind the wheel could save up to 1.25 million lives. Although it is not easy stuff to do, the deploy of low-latency 5G networks in this area will increase a lot our expectations as it will allow the car to respond extremely quick in dangerous situations in order to avoid accidents. “Only fast networks, such as 5G, can support millisecond-level latencies”, – notes Dr. Kevin Curran, a professor at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, and group leader for the Ambient Intelligence Research Group.
  4. Smart cities. Moreover, upgrading to 5G network technology will allow saving so much money in energy costs and maintenance as this will intelligently manage the power use and traffic flow, among others. But what’s more important is that it will potentially reduce pollution all over the cities. “Two-thirds of U.S. municipalities have invested in smart city technology. For example, San Diego installed smart lighting systems that automatically dim when no one’s nearby, saving nearly $2 million a year in electricity costs”, according to the National League of Cities. A study on the 2017 Accenture Strategy estimates that using 5G networks to manage traffic and energy could save up to $160 billion in cities.
  5. Virtual spaces. Although 5G might take several years to become the dominant cellular technology, when it will be established, we will notice a huge change in our lifestyles. Virtual reality could become almost a reality thanks to 5G’s high-bandwidth and low latency, so we will be able, for example, to chat with our friends as if they were sitting next to us even though they are miles away.

The big question is when this reality can begin to be part of our lives. Well, 2020 is the year in which many point out as the real takeoff of this technology, although there are already mobile devices compatible with this innovative technology. Japan, along with South Korea, is one of the most advanced countries in the field, since Japan will celebrate the Olympic Games in the summer of next year, and wants to make the event a force of technological demonstration. The European Union also has this date in mind. An agreement approved by Brussels collects that by 2020, at least one large city in each member state should have a functioning 5G network.

5G has a lot of advantages, however, there are also some challenges that have to be faced. One of the problems that 5G presents is that because of the frequency (that have similar GHz, around 24 GHz), it will maybe interfere with the meteorology prediction making satellites less precise, and as a consequence we will lose information, but at the same time these frequencies permit 5G to transport more information and be way faster being able to compete with optic fiber. Another problem is the cost to build it that ultimately will also increase the price for people to buy it, probably it will be increased in the initial cost. There are also some technical problems like for example the more high-frequency bands needed, the 5G antennas that work in shorter distances that will imply more cost of infrastructure making ‘less’ viable the 5G technology as an imminent service.

Moreover, as we are talking about why 5G is the future, and according to GSMA Intelligence study posted recently, in 2025 5G is forecast to reach 1.4 billion connections, 15% of the global total, with special increase on countries like South Korea (59%), the US (50%) or Japan (48%) that coincides with most advanced actual countries in this field nowadays. However, 4G will continue to be very important and will experience a raise for almost 60% of global connections in 2025 from the 43% reached in 2018, showing that the future where 5G replaces 4G is still far away and they will have to coexist for a long time. The study also shows the increase of the IoT market as we previously mentioned, that will triple to 25 billion by 2025, while global IoT revenue will quadruple to $1.1 trillion. To conclude, they also mention the impact of 5G on the global economy that is forecast to contribute $2.2 trillion over the next 15 years just like 4G created a ‘similar’ growth when it first appeared.

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5G Is the Future. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
“5G Is the Future.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
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