Date published  14/11/2017

Everything you need to know about 5G

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data through downloading files, browsing the web and watching videos. We all expect to receive instant and super-fast speeds when using the internet.

Whilst 4G has offered people the best speeds for their browsing so far, it will not be able to cope with streaming services, apps and amount of people using their mobiles increase. 

What is 5G?

5G stands for the fifth generation of mobile wireless based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard of broadband technology.

The first generation of this technology, 1G, started in the early 1990s. This very basic level of wireless then expanded to 2G, where people could send messages between two mobiles. 3G then meant that people could make phone calls, send texts, and browse the internet.

Most recently, 4G enhanced everything 3G could do, making speeds faster. Companies then added the LTE (‘long-term evaluation’) version to make it even faster.

5G is expected to be launched in the UK in 2020 resulting in seamless, fast and reliable connectivity. There has been continued growth in technology requiring a wireless connection, with analysts predicting come 2020 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the internet - a figure the 4G network infrastructure would be incapable of coping with.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, to be classed as 5G, a network must have:

  • ‪Downlink peak data rate of 20 Gbit/s
  • Uplink peak data rate of 10 Gbit/s
  • Downlink peak spectral efficiency of 30 bit/s/Hz
  • Uplink peak spectral efficiency of 15 bit/s/Hz
  • Downlink user experienced data rate of 100 Mbit/s
  • Uplink user experienced data rate of 50 Mbit/s.

4G VS 5G

5G has speeds up to 10 gigabytes per second, exceeding the fastest home fibre broadband network in the UK.

5G will be built from the 4G LTE and it will dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network. Verizon in the US, for example, reported that their 5G test network can achieve download speeds of 30-50 times faster than 4G.

There will be increased network stability so business mobile functions won’t go offline and employees always have the required speed.

It will also mean that people can stream, download or upload a 4K video much faster. Video’s popularity has and is set to, soar even further.

Facebook now sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users.

For every person nationwide to experience full coverage and continuous availability will take time, but where available, it will be far superior to our current 4G.

What are the advantages of 5G?

This fifth generation will offer features which most businesses can take advantage of, improving the efficiency of every workplace:

  • Increased bandwidth for all users - This means that even in crowded places, such as at football matches, festivals or city centres, customers won’t experience slow speeds.
  • Faster speed and lower latency - Along with the increased bandwidth, the network speed will be vastly improved. Network lag will be much lower, helping apps and games that rely on streaming.
  • People from out-of-reach areas will be able to connect - At present, British users can only use 4G 53% of the time. Although planned in the future, 5G is expected to cover 100% of the nation.

What are the disadvantages of 5G?

  • An increased bandwidth could result in less coverage - When technology progressed to 4G, the cells were producing more bandwidth, so the coverage radius of each cell was smaller. Compared to 3G, user coverage dropped more often. 5G cells will be even smaller, meaning you will notice less coverage compared to the previous generations - it may take time for coverage to be completely widespread.
  • Many old devices will not be compatible with 5G - unfortunately as technology progresses our devices become outdated. When 5G is introduced in the future they will need to be replaced.
  • The frequency spectrum will become an issue - There is already limited space in the radio spectrum. The introduction of new carriers and technologies will mean that we will overcrowd an already crowded space. According to the BBC, 5G will work within the frequency of above 6 GHz, which only has a little space.

So there are some small disadvantages, but when overall this technology is going to change the shape of mobile networks forever.  

To conclude

Although it may seem like far into the future, 5G will change our digital lives, again. Here at DataKom we keep up to date with the latest technologies and look forward to offering it after launching.

Check out our business mobile phone network - DataKom:mobile