We are living in an era with wireless network everywhere and can hardly survive without high-speed Wi-Fi signal. Most of us are using 4G LTE on our mobile devices, it replaced 3G as the new standard of the smartphone mobile high-speed wireless communication and gradually become universal several years after its first appearance in 2010. So what does “G” mean in this term? “G” stands for GENERATIONS – as in the generation of mobile networks. Recently, the voice of 5G becomes stronger for we all learned that it is going to be much, much faster than 4G.
According to real-world tests, the downloading speed of 4G achieves an average of 20Mbps while 5G will be 10-50Gbps, which is 1000x faster than 4G and enabling an entire HD film to be downloaded in under 10 seconds. It also means that the new age in which we can share 3D movies, video games and UHD videos through smart devices sharing will come to us in a short time.
So what is the practical meaning of 5G? You may think that 4G LTE is already impressive enough to any connected device, even a 4K TV can be streamed without too much buffering, but obviously, this situation is limited to full bars of signal. Once dropping the signal down to a bar or two, your results start to vary dramatically. If this is still a little bit confusing, imaging playing some pieces of music with 4G, it is always seamless, you can even load full albums within just a few seconds at just one bar of LTE. The same situation may apply to 4K video libraries with 5G. If you use 5G to watch 4K videos, even with only one bar of the signal, you can simply enjoy any video you want without any buffer time. To some extent, this largely saves your time and greatly improves the user experience with entertainment or when doing online work.
5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. One of the key characters of 5G is called low latency. Latency is basically the response time between when you click on a link or start streaming a video on your phone, which sends the request up to the network, and when the network responds, delivering you the website or playing your video. The latency is critical when it comes to playing intense video games in virtual reality or remote fine control. For example, if you are in Tokyo and you have to perform a robotic arm to do a surgery in Toronto, with the significant network latency, it is almost impossible to do so. However, with the help of 5G technology, this would be possible. Also, these improvements would have applications on many high-tech products like self-driving cars.
Perhaps there is still a long way to go and it will take several years to test them before the large-scale adoption worldwide. 5G wireless networks are expected to launch in 2019 along with phones that will run on them. We humans will never stop our pursuit of ever higher-speed and a better world.