Where is the ‘path to 5G’ leading to? What can we expect of 5G and what can it really accomplish? To what stretch will it be better than LTE?
12 billion plus devices are already connected to the Internet of Things. And the fifth generation of wireless technology is expected to connect many more billions. By 2020, that number could surge to 30 billion, says Simona Jankowski of Goldman Sachs Research. The future of IoT is being led by the 5G revolution, and what it can achieve is the testimony to how successful cellular technology has been.
What can it connect?
From our fridges and coffee machines, to our automobiles and aircrafts. From our medical and therapeutic devices, to sensors in our key-chains and running shoes. 5G is promising an extremely ultra-low latency of around 1 millisecond - which is roughly about 100 times faster than what our 4G can deliver. It also promises ultra-fast speeds of upto 10Gbps - and will be a backbone to connect every object across every network. 5G also holds the promises of ‘smart cities’, ‘driverless cars’, ‘critical health care’, and ‘the IoT revolution’.
What can we expect?
Some of the mind-blowing expectations at this stage, according to research done by Goldman Sachs, are:
- Ability to scale it to 100 times more devices than there are people on this planet;
- Ability to seamlessly connect and deliver mission-critical applications;
- Ability to deliver time-sensitive applications via automation and robotics;
- e.g.. Robotic surgery via Augmented Reality;
- Better efficiencies, more productivity, and better use of all the under-utilized assets out there;
- And so much more..
What are some of the challenges?
Every advancement comes with sets of challenges that need to be overcome in order to fully realize the benefits that it promises. 5G is no exception. Some of the challenges that the rollout of 5G will pose are:
- Augmented threats of privacy and security, on a personal and industrial levels, as more ‘objects’ are connected - from our doorknobs to plants in factories.
- Harmony in the technological integration, as 5G will function based on a number of different technology, not just a singular technological platform.
- Maintaining 100% error-free applications and uninterrupted, seamless user experience. As more mission-critical applications get connected by 5G, there will be zero room for error.
- Limitations due to the scarcity of Radio Spectrum.
Path to the 5G began began less than 2 decades ago. In fact, it’s easy to forget that we used to live without mobile phones only about 15 years ago. In such a short span of time, we now find ourselves in a world where mobile devices, gadgets, and sensors have outnumbered people. Cellular technology truly has become the largest tech platform to have scaled so quick, and here we are today - getting ready to welcome yet another generation with big hopes!
5G is expected to land between 2017 to 2020, but at this point it may be fair to say it will come to full fruition closer to 2020. According to the independent research done by The 5G Economy, full economic benefit of 5G, however, is expected to be realized by 2035 which will “help a broad range of industries produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services”.
While the industry is preparing to welcome the grand entrance on the macro level, is your premise well-lit and ready to meet the capacity demands in the micro 'in-building' level?