The Birth of the 5G Network | Sunday Observer

The Birth of the 5G Network

10 November, 2019

The future in cellular network is nearly at your fingertips, quite literally in fact. Gone are the days of poor connections and bad video calls with friends and family overseas as the all new 5G network is born. The fifth-generation wireless network or 5G as we know it brings with it a promise of faster data transfers always wireless broadband connections and high speed response rates unlike its predecessor the 4G LTE network. As technology advances in the 21st century, fast cellular connectivity is ever increasing demand. What good is having the latest I-phone or android smart phone when you can’t get fast broadband connections?

Unlike 4G and all other wireless cellular networks comprised of high-powered cell towers divided into sectors that transmit data though the use of radio waves, the new 5G network will use the all ready existing technology as a foundation. The 5G wireless signals will be transmitted via a large number of small cell stations which can be installed in places such as building rooftops, lightning poles and other high locations for wider coverage.

The reason a large cluster of small cell stations spread over populated areas are used is because the frequency band known as the millimeter wave spectrum is the band of spectrum that 5G relies on which ranges from 30 GHz to 300 GHz to generate high speeds limited to travelling only short distances which means the system runs the risk of being subjected to interference from weather and other obstacles such as buildings.

Cellular operators have used lower-frequency bands of spectrum in the previous generations of wireless technology and as the millimeter wave does present some challengers relating to interference and distance, the wireless industry is considering making use of the lower-frequency spectrum for the new 5G network which allow operators to use spectrum they already own and are familiar with to build this new network. The only drawback being that lower-frequency spectrum does reach larger distances but sacrifices speed and capacity in doing so. This issue, however, does not stop countries like the United States, China South Korea and Japan from already starting to create 5G buildouts. Only time will tell if the billions of dollars these countries and its networks operators are putting into the new 5G network will bring a return on that investment.

The biggest benefit to the user of 5G compared to the already existing 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is the speed by which data is transmitted as well as the level of latency or delay, which is very low compared to 4G network meaning that the response rate will be very high and that is very good news. Say good-bye to the days of those Netflix videos interrupted by buffering or video lags mid conversation.

5G comes loaded with a plethora of new change in the wireless networking industry; it’s just a matter of time until 5G engulfs the networks. 5G is said to launch in 2020 worldwide and then shall we see its ‘true colours’. The question that unfolds is what the next big chapter in the evolution of the wireless technology will be. The answer is only limited by our imagination.