We are at the beginning of a communications revolution that will affect the world for many years (if not forever). Telecommunications companies and equipment manufacturers have been working hard to develop and implement a fifth-generation wireless standard called 5G.
Some countries, such as South Korea, have started deploying new 5G networks at a large scale already, while others, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, expect their networks to work in the future. None the less, they have started to cover many densely populated areas.
Mobile phone manufacturers such as Motorola and Samsung have also launched their first compatible 5G smartphones. These devices are capable of transmitting data 20 times faster than 4G, theoretically reaching 20 gigabits per second.
This means that you can download 160 GB of iPod content in about a minute (if for any reason).
In fact, this is just the beginning. 5G can offer new ways to communicate and interact with the world, even better than 4G. So, the revolution of 5G is happening, and there is a big chance that the glass and metal like smart devices we use today may not resemble that of tomorrow.
The Swedish electronics company Ericsson is developing radio technology based on 5G networks and has recently published a report that meets consumer expectations for 5G. The report’s principal investigator, Jasmeet Singh Seth, believes that the furthest future has nothing to do with what we know today, especially concerning the design of the material used.
Sethi told Quartz that,
“When we talked to consumers about the latest smartphones and 5G, they said that the form factors and the latest features could not take advantage of the promise of 5G.”
Smartphones are great for online browsing, watching videos, and receiving emails. Faster connection speeds are not enough.
Sethi believes that international consumers surveyed generally access 7 to 8 GB of mobile data per month. It’s great to be able to download movies or tweets faster, but the experience is the same today -it is accelerating.
The 5G function is a new way to interact with information, in addition to displaying information on the screen, but also features that we may not know at this time. However, as we are still at the beginning of this potential revolution, many local networks are still small, and it is difficult to see progress.
Lately, in the mobile conferences, such as the World Mobile Congress, held in Barcelona in February, 5G has been the main topic of discussion. Although many companies promote new forms of communication created by these high-speed networks, few companies offer modern equipment, including transformers.
The future looks foldable (or we can say folded)
The modern 5G support devices are foldable. These devices, including Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi 5G smartphones, have a simple selling point: with 5G, we can send more content to our mobile devices quickly.
However, these devices are not cheap: the Samsung Galaxy Fold (which already has production problems) costs about $ 2,000, and Huawei, about $ 2,600. Indeed, as these new 5G networks attempt to cover infrastructure installation costs, their monthly data plans will also increase.
Sethi suggests that these devices cause interference. He said:
“We have not studied the disadvantages of these forms of devices.”
It means that the current consumer screens may not be enough to add 5G devices without forgetting the additional cost of 5G network subscriptions. In his opinion, the screens contribute to their lives substantially in this age of technology. Compared to all previous devices, consumers are willing to pay for a genuinely refundable product, such as the original iPhone.
As Sethi said, “5G needs a cult device,” maybe not a smartphone. For the consumers he and his team are studying with, 5G’s interest will grow significantly if we have organizations that provide new experiences, such as the overlapping of information related to the physical world. According to him, “Augmented reality glasses are the driving force behind the demand for 5G.”
We are still in the initial stage of AR technology. Many video games (like Pokemon Go) and apps like Snapchat show you how to improve data overlay or give users a real experience, but this is just the beginning.
AR’s first supporters, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google, have developed applications that can outperform baseball players as they sit and watch baseball. The mapping application can track huge arrows and assistants that actually project product descriptions of the product in front of assembly line staff. All of this is happening today, but they are slow applications that require many processors and can burn quickly on a mobile device’s battery.
5G provides such an instant experience that allows users to feel that images really exist in the real world.
Speed belongs to the future
It’s essential to keep in mind that the most promising 5G upgrade not only allows you to transfer more data faster but also shortens the time between requesting and receiving data.
This delay is called latency or Internet connection timeout. In the United States, the mobile network is usually 50-60 milliseconds. Although loading a webpage looks very fast (on average, about half a second), the page is self-explanatory when you perform a task that makes you feel that you are present there. Take an example of virtual reality.
The human brain can only detect images at 13 milliseconds. So, if you have already tried the virtual reality game and found a delay between what you have done and what you have seen, the game will not be processed, and your brain will be fooled. So you believe that what you see in real life.
This can lead to physical illness. However, in systems such as those described by Sethi, cellular network latency must be extremely low, so that users can request, send, and transmit data in less than 13 milliseconds. Therefore users can detect virtual data, as in real-time experiments.
Sethi said: “Latency is a new speed.”
This means that in the future, it is possible to drive a vehicle, sitting thousands of miles away, perform remote surgeries. There was even a concert where half of the band members did not leave the studio.
Admittedly, most network operators are phasing out their 5G networks. Many companies have begun to increase their speed and add new and essential wireless technologies to existing cell towers. This requires mobile operators to add radios with shorter wavelengths than 4G radios.
Some believe that this means that cities are exposed to poorly studied radio frequencies, while others believe that moving this type of coverage by default is not economically feasible.
Yes, the 5G wave is not only around the corner; it’s here. However, the revolutionary benefits of mobile networks cannot be imagined accurately yet.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.