What is 5G?


Jason Lo, Cutting Edge Writer

    It has been 10 years since 4G was first introduced to the public. The G in 4G and 5G means generations. Currently, 4G is the mobile data people are using. Right now, society is being introduced to the next generation of wireless phone technology. 

    Firstly, 5G works by transferring data through wavelengths. Different lengths have different capacities for data. Lower frequency waves around 1 GHz and lower are great for bringing data to a wide area, but the problem is that it can only carry so much data. Medium frequency waves between 1 GHz and 6 GHz, carry more data to a wider area, but they do not have the range of the low frequency and the carrying capacity of the high frequency waves. Lastly, high frequency waves above 6 GHz are the best for carrying a copious amount of data, however they have horrible range. Also, most of the frequency used for wireless phones are lower frequency waves, due to how wide they cover. However, as technology improves the need for more data to be transferred at one time is great. Therefore, right now mobile carriers are fighting over the usage of medium and high frequency waves. 

One of the main benefits of 5G is the low latency, also known as its fast reaction time. With our 4G networks right now, it takes 20 milliseconds get from the databases to a phone, but with 5G, the reaction time is reduced to 1 millisecond. In addition, another benefit is 5G is the fast network speed and the ability to be connected to several devices at one. 

    Some downsides include how 5G works; any obstacles like trees or buildings would disrupt the connection. Therefore, the amount of radio towers needed is so much more than 4G. Furthermore, More rural regions may not get 5G as quickly as 4G due to the massive amount of infrastructure that has to be built. In addition, the waves of 5G are much more compact, so some researchers worry about the health risks with high frequency waves. 

    Even with its downsides the new technology is still beneficial to the public. For example, with 5G’s low latency, things like full self driving cars are possible. In addition, people will have a better time online with the faster speeds. However, 5G is still in its infancy, so it will take a few years until the full effects to kick in into society. Nevertheless 5G is revolutionary to society as it knows it.