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The Future of 5G

By: Post on: May 8th, 2019 in Technology News

South Korea became the first country to roll out a nationwide 5G network way ahead of everyone else. This means that its implementation is no longer a subject of speculation and debate. The move by South Korea will most likely cause a ripple effect as other countries rush to catch up. In the US, major carriers like AT&T and Verizon have already launched their 5G networks in select cities and states.

What Is 5G and How Will It Affect You?

There is no doubt that 5G is the future when it comes to connectivity. What is it and how will it affect you? To understand what it’s all about, we need to take a look at its predecessors.

  1. 1G – The very first generation of wireless cellular technology. It only supported voice and had a maximum speed of 2.4 GHz. It was also analog.
  2. 2G An upgrade to digital transmission introduced support for SMS and MMS. Maximum speeds of 50KB/s on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 1MB/s for EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates). 2G is still in use today.
  3. 2.5 & 2.75G These were more or less interim standards used by cellphone manufacturers to accommodate new features on newer phones.
  4. 3G Introduced faster transfer speeds that enabled video calling and mobile internet. Maximum speeds were 2MB/s.
  5. 4G This is the current standard and has been in use since 2008. It can support more demanding services like video conferencing, online gaming among others. Maximum speeds are 1GB/s.

5G is intended to have even higher speeds of up to 20GB/s. 

However, some argue that it is more of an incremental upgrade for normal consumers using cellphones, tablets and other popular consumer devices. 4G is without a doubt still capable of delivering content like games and videos. Carriers will have to look beyond normal consumers by seeking to enter into agreements with other industry players that need high-speed technology. 

In the USA

As mobile carriers continue to install 5G networks across the US, some cellphone manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei have already released 5G ready devices in readiness for the technology. So far, some carriers like Verizon have launched 5G networks in some US cities like Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Users in these cities with 5G ready devices can already take advantage of the 5G speeds if they happen to be Verizon customers.

Challenges and Cost Implications

The cost of 5G implementation contributes to it being patchy throughout the US and other nations. Current technology available in the market can only push 5G signals within a range of 1000 feet meaning carriers have to install several antennae just to support a small radius.

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