From delivering simple analog voices to sending a huge amount of data, wireless mobile networks have progressed a long way throughout the years. Now, we are on the fifth generation of wireless networks, also known as 5G.
5G is the global wireless standard after previous generations; 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. 1G (1980s) was used to send analog voices. 2G (Early 1990s) was used for radio calls, text, MMS, and basic internet. 3G (Early 2010s) was used for video calls, streaming, and better internet. 4G (2010s) was as fast as our home broadband. With improving networks in each generation, we now have 5G (Early 2020s). It is designed to connect machines, devices, objects, people, almost everyone and everything virtually.
Simply put, 5G came in with super speed, lower latency, more bandwidth, and powering innovation. 5G has a potential speed of up to 20Gbps that is 100 times faster than a 4G network. With 5G, users can experience lower latency. Latency is the time taken between action and response. For instance, the delay between when a user clicks on a link and the browser displaying the page has significantly decreased. With the increased bandwidth (the maximum amount of data transmitted in a given time) 5G supports more users in the same network. Together with these beneficial features, 5G is helping healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and many more sectors.
Although 5G is the best wireless mobile network so far, it has some drawbacks. For instance, 5G has limited global coverage, and has only been implemented in big cities. In addition, 5G has a shorter broadcast distance, which means it requires multiple 5G towers in a close distance for evenly distributed coverage. 5G also drains batteries quickly and needs a new system. That’s why older phones do not support 5G, meaning manufacturers will have to invest in new battery technology, as well as systems that still support 5G.
In my opinion, the 5G network is a game-changer. However, it still needs some years to replace its predecessor. Plus, the tech industry needs new systems and designs that can handle 5G up to its full potential.