5G and What It Could Mean For Us
Wireless technology has had a massive impact on the ways we live and work.
The next generation of wireless networks, dubbed 5G, is expected to offer remarkably faster download speeds for wireless devices. It’s also touted to connect billions of devices and machines – from kitchen appliances to cars – to the internet and to one another.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology – hence the name “5G” – and builds on the foundation created by 4G LTE. Like its predecessors, 5G will facilitate texting, calling and web browsing, but with a dramatic increase in the speed at which data is transferred.
According to its proponents, 5G is expected to perform at 100 times the speed of current networks, allowing for streaming without interruptions.
A number of companies, including Huawei, Ericsson, Samsung and Google, are already researching and developing 5G technology. However, consumers will likely have to wait until 2020 for the initial roll-out of 5G network technology.
What impact will 5G have?
As 5G is largely a concept at the moment, there are currently no set standards for this new network. However, 5G is expected to offer significantly faster data speeds, extremely low latency and greater connectivity.
Faster data speeds
While the current fastest generation of wireless mobile networks, 4G, has the potential to reach peak download speeds of 1 GB per second, 5G could offer download speeds of up to 10 GB per second.
That would allow you to download a high-definition full-length film in less than 5 seconds, versus 8 minutes on 4G, and over an hour on 3G.
Low latency rates
“Latency” refers to the time that it takes for one device to communicate with another device. The current latency rate of 4G is about 50 milliseconds. With 5G this will be reduced to just around one millisecond.
This ultra-low latency rate is important for a range of industrial applications and for driverless cars, where information needs to be sent and received instantaneously.
It’s estimated that 6.4 billion devices are currently connected to the internet. Industry experts predict that this number will triple, possibly reaching 20.8 billion by 2020.
This increase won’t be due only to an increase in numbers of users. It will also occur as everyday devices, from fridges to coffee makers, join the internet. It’s hoped that 5G will provide the network capacity to allow these 20+ billion devices to connect to the internet simultaneously.
PM&A Consulting: meeting your networking needs
At PM&A Consulting, we specialise in providing small to medium Cape Town businesses with expert networking and IT security services, as well as leading hardware and software products.
5G might not be here yet, but we can provide practical, affordable ways to make computing easier, more powerful and more secure for your business.