September 30, 2022
The promise of 5G wireless – speed, hype, risks

A much-hyped network upgrade called “5G” means different things to different people.

For industry proponents, this is the next big innovation in wireless Internet. For the US government, it is the backbone of technology that the US will wrestle with China to control. For many average people, this is simply a mystery.

Exactly, what is 5G wireless, and will you even notice it when it comes online?

What is 5G?

5G is a new technology standard for wireless networks, naturally a fifth, that promises faster speeds; low lag, or “latency,” when connecting to a network; And the ability to connect multiple devices without having to connect to the Internet. 5G networks would ideally be able to handle more users, lots of sensors, and heavy traffic.

Wireless companies and phone makers have to upgrade before we can all use it. Phones require new chips and radio antennas to work with the new network.

Wireless companies are getting ready. They are improving their network equipment, buying pieces of radio spectrum to carry 5G signals, and installing new 5G antennas on cellphone towers, utility poles, and street lights. According to industry trade group CTIA, wireless providers will invest $275 billion (about Rs 20,19,256 crore) in 5G-related networks in the US.

When will it be available?

A true US mobile rollout began in 2019, but fairly fast networks are still sparse. Michael Thelander, CEO of wireless consultancy Signal Research Group, said it would take a few years to go national, and yet more rural areas of the country would not be covered in “millimeter wave” frequencies, which promise the highest data speeds and capacity. Huh. ,

However, beware of confusion. Wireless carriers have a history of rushing to slap the latest and greatest labels on their networks, and this time is no different. AT&T has already applied the name 5G to a service that isn’t actually 5G.

Once the network is ready, you’ll need a 5G-enabled phone to connect to it. Android versions have been out for a while, and on Tuesday Apple launched its first 5G iPhone. But you can continue using 4G phone. They just won’t connect to 5G speeds where they are available.

What can 5G do?

There is a lot of hype surrounding the promise of 5G. Industry groups say it will boost smart cities by adding sensor networks that can manage traffic and quickly identify streetlight outages. 5G could connect self-driving cars and foster new applications in virtual and augmented reality. Its high-speed connections could enable better remote surgery and other telemedicine, help companies automate their factories and provide dedicated high-speed Internet lanes for businesses.

“5G speeds, and always faster home broadband, will mean that existing applications will be richer, and also that new applications will emerge, whether new Flickr, YouTube or Snapchat. We don’t know what that is yet,” said the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benedict Evans, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in 2019. blog post ,

The most immediate effect on consumers is very small. There will be faster download speed for movies and other videos. Thelander says that your phone’s internet will work better in crowded places like stadiums.

What are the security concerns?

The 5G network is a front in the escalating tension between the US and China. The US government is rooting out Chinese telecommunications technology in communications networks due to security concerns, and has pressured other countries to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from 5G network buildout.

US officials have suspected for years that the Chinese government may be using Huawei network equipment to aid in espionage. Huawei has denied such allegations.

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