An Introduction to 5G Technology

5G technology, not fully in the market place yet, is already getting quite the buzz. To understand A 5G Network, you should understand its predecessors.

You have certainly heard of 3G and 4G, but probably not 1G or 2G. “G” stands for “Generation”. Next came the third generation of cell phone technology, marketed as 3G. While out of vogue, the two previous generations are now, retroactively, labeled 1G and 2G.

Cell Phone Genealogy

Succinctly, the first generation cell phones, or 1G, were analog.  2G issued in digital communication and introduced text messaging. 3G rang in the phrase “mobile broadband”, which provided high speed data and gave us video streaming.

Video streaming and web surfing became so prevalent with 3G technology that manufacturers began embedding 3G functionality into laptops.  With vast numbers of users accessing high speed cell data, a new generation was developed to keep up with demand. Enter 4G.

4G, the current cell phone technology, has speed improvements over 3G, data optimization and, you certainly have noticed, the universal USB charging port.

What is 5G

You would think we have it all: video on demand, on-line internet access for gaming, shopping and navigation. What is A 5G Network going to offer?

Most notable, higher speeds: up to 10GB, that is ten times faster than 4G LTE.

5G has lower latency.  Take cars, for instance.  Autonomous vehicles need data about traffic lights, road blocks, other vehicles and various potential hazards.  High speed, low latency data makes these vehicles more responsive and, therefore, safer.

How 5G works

5G uses higher frequencies than previous technologies, in the millimeter wave band. Because of the higher frequency the signal is not as powerful.  There will be more antennas on the landscape, creating smaller and more numerous cells than at present. There is even talk about placing antennas on top of city buses.

The millimeter wave signals are not able to penetrate buildings easily. To bring 5G into your home there will be an antenna mounted outside and wired to a modem or router in your home.

You will need a new phone for this new technology. The phone’s internal antennas will probably be near the top and bottom edges of the phone.  Those areas around the antennas will probably not be metal, which would interfere with reception.

5G: on its way

5G service is slated for initial release in major cities in early 2019 and mostly completed by 2020.

Testing of services has already begun in various parts of the world like Japan and South Korea and in a few major U.S. cities like Austin, TX and Sacramento, CA.

What is 5G? It is the next big thing to keep us all connected.  Once 5G is fully implemented, developers will certainly create apps and hardware we have yet to imagine which will do things we have not yet been able to do.

What will 5G bring with it?  Stay connected to to find out.