5G: What Is It and How Will It Affect Our Future?

23 Nov · 5 min read

5G: What Is It and How Will It Affect Our Future?

According to Ericsson's newest mobility research, 580 million 5G subscriptions will be available by year's end. Moreover, adoption is predicted to increase over the following five years, reaching 3.5 billion subscriptions by 2026. Aside from the extra subscription, customers will need to update to a 5G-ready smartphone. 

With telecoms carriers slowly deploying 5G networks in key cities worldwide, consumers and businesses can expect faster internet speeds, lower latency, and more bandwidth. 5G networks will be the key driver of digital transformation across industries, from manufacturing and healthcare to retail and entertainment, via revolutionary technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, and extended reality. Let's dive right into the meaning and applications of 5G. 

What is 5G?

The fifth generation of wireless communication technology is known as 5G. It is an enhancement of the performance and user experience of 4G LTE connections. 5G networks promise peak data rates of up to 20 Gbps, a network capacity of 1 million connected devices per square kilometre, and 1-millisecond latency. (Imagine never having to watch a YouTube video buffer or an app screen load forever!). 

This new technology is separated into three layers, covering a wider range of radio frequencies than 4G networks. 

  • Low-band 5G uses existing 4G radio frequencies below 1GHz, allowing it to reach more remote rural areas.
  • Mid-band 5G is the most extensively utilised 5G, allowing for low latency and high bandwidth in urban areas.
  • High-band 5G uses high-frequency radio waves to offer data at multi-gigabytes per second in highly populated urban areas.

Because mmWave has such high speeds and bandwidth, it could power smart cities, massive IoT systems, interconnected self-driving cars, and realistic VR/AR experiences. Yet, mmWave connections are only reliable over short distances, and are quickly disrupted by ordinary impediments like windows and trees. The city must be covered by a dense network of small 5G cells instead of depending on cell towers. But there are other options, like deploying private 5G networks within smart factory buildings, which might improve efficiency and security. 

Is 5G safe?

The 5G radio waves do not pose any harm to your health, contrary to several far-fetched theories emerging online, some even linking 5G to coronavirus! Ionizing and non-ionizing radio waves exist. 

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has approved the use of millimetre waves like that in 5G networks, which have no negative impact on human cells. To dispel public fears, ICNIRP recently updated its guidelines on limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields, which cover 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile phones. 

How will 5G impact our future?

5G wireless technology's incredible capabilities will enable new prospects like smart manufacturing, remote surgery, AR shopping, and VR workplace collaboration. Let's look at how 5G promotes innovation in key industries: 

Manufacturing

5G will accelerate the introduction of next-generation technology such as automation, AI, and IoT devices and sensors in manufacturing plants. Deep integration of these technologies into industrial operations will enable real-time data access, reduced equipment downtime and predictive maintenance. 

Apart from remote control and monitoring, 5G networks' unparalleled internet speed and low latency will allow workers to optimise manufacturing assembly lines by eliminating the need for additional personnel on-site. This will enable interactive augmented reality training that can save time and improve worker safety. 

Healthcare

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, global healthcare systems are under unprecedented strain, necessitating novel crisis-related solutions, high connection and more reliable network infrastructures that can manage enormous amounts of data quickly. 5G might help fulfil evolving patient and provider needs more efficiently and affordably, by supporting the 4P approach to healthcare (predictive, preventative, personalized, and participatory). 

5G technology will be a useful asset that may be employed in areas like hospital ward robotics, telemedicine for remote patient consultations, and even remote surgery. 

Retail

Online shopping, particularly mobile shopping, has become the norm in post-pandemic retail. Many firms now use AR for product placement previews and virtual try-ons to personalise the complete buyer journey from product browsing to checkout and assist online customers select the right item quickly. 

These new data-intensive consumer engagements will be accelerated (and made universal) by 5G networks' incredible speeds and bandwidth capacity. The benefits of 5G technology extend down the value chain to warehouse IoT infrastructures and logistical activities. 

5G will enable richer media experiences and new forms of entertainment on a wide range of devices. For example, live sports events will become more immersive and individualised, allowing spectators at home to observe the action from numerous camera viewpoints. Fans in the stadium might utilise AR or MR wearables to overlay player information on top of their real-world perspective or access instant replays of key events. 

AR/VR

We love this portion of the 5G story, and not just because of the Metaverse. 5G is intended to speed up the general adoption of augmented and virtual reality while addressing current 4G limitations including poor data transfer and jarring latency. 

Mobile VR and AR applications can enable seamless on-the-go experiences, accelerating a company’s digital transformation. VR training and onboarding will help organisations attract and retain top remote workers. 

The future of connectivity

Not much can be predicted about 5G’s effect on fast-growing industries like manufacturing, healthcare, retail and when it becomes commercially available in more nations. What we do know is that through improving connectivity between people, data, and devices, 5G fosters the development and implementation of novel solutions like AI, IoT, and extended reality. 

In order to assist our clients to make the most of the latest immersive technology, we at Flint Tech research and develop the ideal use cases for their business. Why not schedule a brief call with one of our experts? 

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