Understanding 5G Technology
5G is a term used to describe the fifth generation of wireless communication equipment, including broadcasting towers, satellites and mobile devices. It is tipped to kick-start the 4th industrial revolution. This is because, its technological possibilities would enable many of the components of this revolution, including Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, cyber-physical systems and cognitive computing.
5G is meant to deliver faster broadband speed and offer faster response time called latency among requesting devices. A typical latency example is when you talk to someone via WhatsApp call and the person doesn’t get to hear you until about some milliseconds later. That delay in talk time in this scenario measured in milliseconds is what is referred to as latency. Latency occurs in different inter-network communications.
3G networks have 100 milliseconds (ms) latency, 4G is about 30 ms and 5G offers as low as 1 millisecond of latency.
1 millisecond of latency in 5G offers a highly efficient and super-fast network connectivity, opening up a new world of high capacity and reliable applications.
5G will enable a new generation of applications, services and business opportunities on a huge scale, through faster and dependable connectivity of billions of devices. 3G, which rolled out in 2002 made possible the iPhone, HTC smartphones, and the app market, including many business remote integrations. 4G made mobile apps and mobile computing even more appealing, helping apps like Instagram, Uber, and some others in security reach critical mass.
5G offers massive machine to machine communication across billions of devices without human intervention. This has the potential to revolutionize modern industrial processes and applications in agriculture, manufacturing, business communications among other things.
With 5G’s ultra-reliable low latency communications, real time control of devices, vehicle to vehicle communications and safety systems, autonomous driving and safer transport networks (driver-less cars and remote driving), industrial robotics, remote medical care procedure are all possible.
It offers enhanced mobile broadband. Offering up to 20Gbps and a reliable 100mbps user experience data rate in urban areas. This will support different applications including virtual and augmented reality. For Instance, you can sit in your room and watch live football match as if you where in the stadium, or travel to your favorite city via virtual reality (VR) applications. The enhanced mobile broadband will also offer greater connectivity for people on the move.
5G will also offer possibilities in communities – in education and in efficient living environment -, and in business and industry as there would be a wealth of data allowing them to gain insight and make decision driven by data.
Many countries carriers began rolling out 5G networks this year.
How 5G Works
5G networks are designed to work in conjunction with existing 4G networks using a range of macro cells, small cells and dedicated in-building systems.
Small cells are antennas installed in local areas to cover areas between 10 meters to about a few hundred meters while providing in-fill for a macro cell which forms a mesh network. Small cells are essential for 5G networks as the millimetre wave (mmWave) frequency have a very short connection range.
According to EMF, the initial frequency band for 5G are below 6GHz and similar frequency to existing mobile and wifi networks. Adding that additional mobile spectrum above 6GHz, including the 26 – 28GHz band will provide significantly more capacity compared to the current mobile technologies.
To achieve a very high frequency range that enables extremely fast speed, require network carriers to deploy an enormous number of small cell antennas to cover a region with 5G.
Social Controversies and Conspiracy Theories
Some conspiracy theorists on social media have speculated that 5G is the cause of coronavirus epidemic. This claim is false. Read: No, 5G Does Not Cause Coronavirus
Other conspiracy theorists also contend that 5G networks generate radio frequency radiation that can damage DNA and lead to cancer, cause oxidative damage that can cause premature aging, disrupt cell metabolism and potentially lead to other diseases through the generation of stress proteins.
Dr Steve Novella, an assistant professor of neurology at Yale and the editor of Science-Based Medicine says “With 5G the hazard is low but non-zero and the actual risk appears to be zero. We’ve picked up no signal in the real world.”
To find out more read: How Worried Should You Be About The Health Risk of 5G?
Other conspiracy theorists speculate that 5G is part of a plan by a so-called evil entity with ‘demonic intent’ to subdue humans and transform man to machine, taking away human divinity, with not yet a clear singular end goal.
My view is that the world is constantly evolving, with every new generation of humans trying to gain control of their environment, and exploring options of living a struggle-free life. The whole world is driven by capitalism.
I would like to read your comments. Please drop them below.