What is 5G technology and will it live up to the hype?

by Aisling Moriarty November 21, 2019
What is 5G technology and will it live up to the hype?

Over the last few months there has been a lot of hype about 5G technology and its potential to change the way we do and connect to everything, from downloading a movie in a matter of seconds to self-driving cars and building smart cities around the world. So will it live up to all these expectations or will we just get an upgraded 4G?

The race to 5G is on and carriers around the globe are racing to be the first with sufficient and fully available 5G. The question on everyone’s mind is will 5G live up to the hype that has preceded it.

In this article, we are going to give you a quick rundown of everything we know about 5G.

What is 5G technology?

5G or Fifth generation mobile internet connectivity is set to be the next disruptive technology of the next coming years. Not only will it increase internet speeds but also the potential that it could bring across all industries and technologies. Essentially, 5G will offer faster download speeds, lower latency and increased capacity.

What is the difference between 5G and 4G technology?

5G is not just a faster version of 4G. Yes, it is could increase speeds to up to 100 times that of 4G, however it is much more than that.

To simplify, it will be smarter, faster and more efficient than its predecessor. The biggest differences between 5G and 4G is download speed ( 2Gbps vs 24 Mbps) and lower latency. Latency is the speed of which information or data is sent and received from one point to another, i.e. how long it takes an email to arrive into someone’s inbox.

What this means for us, is this reduced latency will enable our mobile devices to be more powerful and faster than current Wi-Fi infrastructure.

How fast is 5G?

So far no network provider has given any specific numbers yet, however it is expected to be 2 Gigabytes Per Second (Gbps), in fact Telstra achieved 3Gbps during tests in Australia in 2018. While these cannot be considered real-world tests as 5g is still so limitedly available, cnet.com tested carriers in the UK, Australia and the US to find the fastest speeds. AT&T claimed the fastest in the US and ahead of the UK and Australia, with 1.8Gbps compared with 4G LTE speeds, which has an average speed of 24.6 Mbps.

When will 5G be available?

Currently 5G is being rolled out in around 20 countries worldwide, as of November 2019. However, most are just trials in cities and it will not be available countrywide for 2-3 years. For example, the US is expecting countrywide coverage by 2021. The biggest onboarding of 5G users in South Korea who had over 1 million subscribers in June 2019.

The most optimistic projections for availability come from Ericsson, who predict that by the end of 2024, there will be 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions, 35% of traffic will be on 5G networks and that 65% of the global population will be covered by 5G.

What is 5G promising to achieve?

5G is set to change everything. Companies in all industries are trialing the technology in new and innovating ways. It is said that 5G will vastly improve self-driving cars and improving surgeries and patient care in the healthcare sector. If you would like to learn more about these then read our previous article 5 incredible benefits of 5G.

What does 5G mean for businesses?

If 5G lives up to its potential, it will probably affect everything you use in your business. 5G will aid in productivity, communications, let you build a smart office, the list is endless. We predict that it will further drive applications from on prem to the cloud and more companies will be using SaaS services. We believe that 5G will transform communications for the better, especially in terms of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Using ourselves as an example, our speech analytics technology that we use within our Recordia solution analyzes and transcribes millions of calls. What 5G will enable is make it even faster to gather, analyze and optimize data. You can have all the information you need in a matter of seconds and see patterns and trends occurring and then take action if needs be.

Will 5G live up to the hype?

Although it is still in its infancy we think that it will. The rate at which technology is progressing is phenomenal, so there is little doubt that with time 5G will change the way we do everything. It is just a matter of how long it takes for 5G to deliver on its promises.

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