What is 5G and why is it significant?
Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about the new technology manufacturers are rushing to implement into their devices. Some of them have already succeeded so Samsung, Motorola, LG, Huawei, even ZTE all have a 5G phone either released on underway and scheduled to be released. But, what exactly is 5G? Why is it that significant, and how does it differ from other G’s? What were all the previous generations like? Let’s take a closer look at this conundrum.
First generation – 1G
These were the first phones, those built in the early 1990. First generation of technology was used for voice transmitting which was based on Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) technology. Some characteristics of the first generation technology were:
- Low speed – 2.4 kbps
- Voice calls only within 1 country
- It used analog signal
- Poor voice quality
- Poor battery life
- Phones were huge
- Very inefficient
Overall, it had low capacity, unreliable handoff, poor voice links, and no security at all since voice calls were played back in radio towers. The calls were, therefore, susceptible to unwanted eavesdropping by third parties.
Second generation – 2G
Unlike 1G, 2G networks used digital systems for voice transmission. The main focus of this technology was exactly digitalization. Shortly following the 2G, 2.5G came up which provide data rates of up to 144 kbps. Main features of 2G and 2.5G are:
- Data speeds up to 64 kbps (2G) and 144 kbps (2.5G)
- Digital signal
- Text messages and MMS enabled
- Sending and receiving e-mails enabled
- Web browsing (albeit quite slow)
Third generation – 3G
3G networks are based on GSM (Global System for Mobile communications). The technology was launched in 2000, and it had many advantages compared to the previous generation. For example, it offered high speed internet connection up to 14 Mbps. Also, 3G networks allowed for data services, it is possible to access TV or other video services and also new services like Global Roaming. Some of the main features of 3G networks are:
- Speeds up to 2 Mbps
- Allowed for web-based applications, audio and video streaming
- Faster communication
- High speed web, 3D gaming, video calls
Fourth generation – 4G
This is where most of the western world currently is. Infrastructure to support 4G networks is already in place, and while 4G provides pretty much the same features as the 3G, it does all this much faster. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is also considered 4G technology. 4G is being developed to accommodate wireless broadband access, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), video chat, mobile TV, HDTV content, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), minimal services like voice and data, and other services that utilize bandwidth. Some of the main features of 4G networks are:
- Very high 10 Mbps – 1 Gpbs speeds
- High quality video streaming
- High security
- Expanded multimedia services
- It’s pretty expensive to built the infrastructure
Fifth generation – 5G
After all the previous generations, we now have 5G networks, which is one of the next big things in smartphone technology while the infrastructure to support 5G connections is slowly being built. 5G Technology stands for 5th Generation Mobile technology. It has amazing data capabilities and has the ability to combine unrestricted call volumes and infinite data broadcast within latest mobile operating systems. It is likely that 5G connections will take over the majority of the world market within the next few years.
The 5G technology distributes internet access to nodes within the building and can be deployed with union of wired or wireless network connections. In a few years, we may be able to download a full-length HD movie in six seconds, while 4G require seven minutes and 3G require more than an hour to download the same. Also video chats will be so immersive that it will feel like we can reach out and touch the other person right through the screen.
Current trends in 5G technology has following features:
- Highly supportable to WWWW (Wireless World Wide Web)
- High speed, high capacity connections
- Data broadcasting measured in Gbps
- Very fast HD video streaming
- Support interactive multimedia, voice, streaming video, internet and other