Launches of any kind whether a product or technology is difficult. The saying, “It’s a marathon not a sprint” is not viable. Everyone wants to be first. But with every new release, there are challenges. Just because it’s available doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a home run when the gates open! Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
The transition from Analog to Digital TV.
Some of you may have only read about the transition in 2009. Consider yourselves lucky! I assumed the move from Analog to Digital TV wouldn’t be a simple one and I was right. It was not seamless to say the least and it took quite a few years for issues to be ironed out.
Some challenges were:
- Fewer available channels (This was interesting in the sense that depending on where your TV was located you would have access to different channels. Let’s say you had two TV’s, one in the living room and one in the bedroom - you may have Channel 11 in your living room but in the bedroom, you didn’t get Channel 11)
- Spotty/bad reception
Thought this would be a good segue way into my 5G discussion on what it is, where we are today, how it will impact businesses; elevate IoT to the next level for enterprises.
I think the easiest way to understand what 5G next generation is to compare it with 4G. 5G uses higher-frequency bands called millimeter waves that transmits data more quickly than 4G. 5G’s frequency range is between 30 GHz to 300 GHz while, 4G uses 6 GHz or less. The talk at the water cooler is that speed is the best aspect of 5G, I, however, feel it is certainly one key benefit, but I would go with less latency. I’ll explain in a minute.
How is 5G changing the face of technology?
- Less Latency. With 4G, latency is around 40-50 milliseconds but with 5G it is 1 millisecond or less. Let’s put this into perspective using an example within Healthcare. With less latency times, 5G will be foraging the path to fundamental changes in how surgery is done today. Surgeons using robotics will be able to remotely operate on patients anywhere in the world.
- Faster Speeds. 5G offers speeds as fast as 10 Gbps. This means you will be able to download a HD movie in under 10 seconds on a 5G network, which would take you 10 minutes to download using 4G. How will this affect Healthcare? Medical drones can be dispatched to accidents and provide real-time video, which can be used by emergency service dispatchers to access the situation at hand and to assist rescue teams by deploying needed supplies to the site before their arrival.
- Greater Capacity. 5G will have the increased capacity to run high-demand applications all at once as used in advanced virtual reality and AI.
- Flexibility with Network Slicing. Network slicing separates multiple virtual networks that operate with the same physical infrastructure/hardware for different applications and/or services. How will this work? Depending on the function/use case study the speed, capacity, connectivity and coverage will be adjusted. Each slice will function independently of one another and one won’t interfere with another, which is a great thing not to mention a security benefit. Each slice will be independently managed.
Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have launched 5G in a few cities.
*AT&T - For additional cities, click here.
†Sprint and T-Mobile merger has been approved.
CNET journalists tested the speeds using the Speedtest.net benchmarking app in different locations. They also downloaded apps and movies to test speed. The test was not comparing apples to apples since, the variables/testing situations were quite different. Verizon and T-Mobile gave journalists the opportunity to run freely in the cities testing out the 5G nodes built into existing light posts. Sprint provided a “guided tour”; journalists were in a car with screens that used simulations to show their 5G progress. While AT&T allowed journalists to “roam freely” on the Warner Bros. production lot that had 5G nodes built into their rooftops.
Who was the overall winner? The test found that Sprint won overall due to their footprint ─ they turned on a larger 5G network that is available for more people to use today.
Will 5G be replacing 4G? The answer is No. Think of 4G as the foundation and 5G as building on top of that foundation using improved radios and software. For the near future, 5G will not be available as a standalone connection. 4G will be used as a steppingstone for 5G. Leading equipment manufacturers have put 5G pathways in place to make sure that products deployed using 4G will be able to adapt and take on future 5G capabilities. According to a report by GSMA, by 2025, 15% of mobile connections in the world will be on 5G. In 2025, there will be about 47% connected on 5G and 44% on 4G.
The Takeaway – 5G has its challenges but is good and with some time will be phenomenal. 5G will bring verticals across all industries to the next level where connected devices will far outreach the limitations of yesterday and open possibilities, we never imagined years ago; improving the lives of all that it touches while increasing productivity and profits.
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