After years of excitement and hype over the new 5G cellular network infrastructure, it is now safe to say the next generation of wireless communication technology is about to become a reality. Leading smartphone manufacturers and ISPs have already announced that we should expect to see 5G devices sometime in 2019 and 2020. In fact, some players in the telecommunication industry rolled out 5G services as early as mid-2018 in a few cities. How is 5G different from what we already have? What does the 5G network have to offer now that it’s almost here?

How is 5G different?

5G aims to achieve higher speeds at a greater capacity and at far lower latency than the current 4G LTE technology. To do this, 5G devices will be equipped with smart antennas to link up to the intelligent cellular infrastructure of 5G carriers. The network also runs on a different bandwidth spectrum to reduce noise and congestion. The standardisation bodies governing wireless communication hope to categorise full 5G networks at a threshold of 20Gbps with a 1ms latency. If this remains the case, 5G will quadruple 4G’s capacity and surpass its speed by up to a hundred times.

New technologies that will benefit from 5G coverage

On a small-scale level, users will get better streaming and communication channels on computers and smartphones in their homes and on their travels. However, on a much larger scale, changes will be a bit more drastic.

IoT

The growth in IoT software and hardware devices is quickly depleting the standard LTE data capacity in populated areas. Exponential growth is increasingly becoming difficult as IoT devices demand more resources to communicate effectively in real time. With 5G’s high speeds and low latency, communication among smart devices will get a massive boost. This will see IoT devices control much larger areas like smart cities and industrial parks flawlessly.

Remote device control

With 5G’s phenomenal transmission speed, remote control of heavy machinery will soon become a reality. Technicians can instruct equipment working in hazardous areas like mines from anywhere in the world. Also, satellite communication and space exploration will benefit from high transmission speeds, although it will take a while for space agencies to re-tune their instruments for 5G.

Autonomous vehicles

We expect to see a rise and improvement in autonomous vehicle technology as 5G services go mainstream. Autonomous technology involves the real-time exchange of bulk data, which would easily overload the current infrastructure if there were a significant number of autonomous vehicles on the road. Driverless technology is heavily reliant on instantaneous relays between the sensors and computing units, which the 5G network promises to provide.