What is 5G?
5G stands for “fifth generation.” Same goes for 4G, 3G, all the way down to 1G. Most of us are used to 3G and 4G networks, because they were the last major upgrade to our mobile communication. So, what makes each generation different from one another, and what makes 5G so special?
5G has the ability to make great changes to speed because of the size of the waves it uses to send frequencies. The shorter the frequency, the larger the bandwidth (range of speed). Think about it like your commute to work. Depending on how much traffic there is on the road, the speed you can drive will be affected.
In some places, the 5G express lanes are available with 10x to 100x the speeds you’re used to, but in places they’re not, you’ll be relying on 3G and 4G networks to get you where you’re going. And much like building a highway, though it won’t take as long, rolling out 5G will take some time. If you have a 5G phone already, this is why you may not have 5G service everywhere, like you may have expected.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Low Latency
With the use of 5Gs shorter wavelengths, the possibilities of self-driving cars are in focus again. I know we’ve all probably heard of the self-driving cars that keep getting into accidents, right? Short wavelengths allow the delay between sending and receiving information to drop down to 1 millisecond.
For example, it’s like sending a text to your mom and latency is how long the text takes to reach her phone (not just how long she replies).
Low latency provides the capacity for self-driving cars to have incredible reaction times, which would have prevented accidents we’ve heard of before. 5G also allows more devices to be connected to the same network without fighting with each other over bandwidth. Do you ever have issues with long loading times while watching your show or playing video games when everyone is at home and trying to use the internet as well? 5G would solve this problem and more.
When Will 5G Be Here?
Providers are rolling out 5G on a city-by-city basis. 5G phones are already being offered, but because of the limited amount of 5G networks available, most of these new phones are still relying heavily on 4G networks. In my opinion, it’s best to wait until 5G coverage really is available nationwide. We can expect to experience most, if not all, the benefits of 5G by 2021 or 2022.