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What is 5G and Why is it important?

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5G is the successor to the current generation of mobile networks 4G. Although, the 4G networks is still not prevalent in most of the countries including Nepal, but that has not stopped engineers and scientists in developing the even faster 5G mobile internet.

The current 4G system reaches speeds of up to 42mbps which should be more than enough right? But, Companies like Nokia and Samsung thinks differently. They demonstrated 5G speeds of up to 10Gbps which is 40 times faster than the current maximum speeds achievable on 4G and users can download 2 hours of HD films in the blink of an eye. They think by 2020, 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra HD 2K content, and remote medical service will be common on a smartphone, resulting in the need of 5G networks.

symbiotic integration of existing and new technologies
                                 symbiotic integration of existing and new technologies

5G Network is not just about being fast, but also supporting tens of thousands of users simultaneously without any compromise. For e.g. Let us consider a scenario where over 50,000 people in a stadium are trying to use mobile data on their smartphones. The current 4G antennas (masts) cannot handle that number of simultaneous users and you cannot even upload a selfie on instagram that you just took inside the stadium. Deal breaker, Right? However, the 5G could be the solution for such cases. 5G innovative technology can allocate each users with their own antennas. A small Base Station (BTS) can have up to 256 antennas closely packed together. Using smaller millimeter wavelength (mmW) makes this tight packing possible and they are operating at higher frequency, 10 times higher than current 4G frequencies resulting in vehement fast speeds.

The 5G’s advanced antennas tech forms data beams that will track and focus on the devices only when needed. This results in enhanced Spectral efficiency (data volume per area unit), less battery consumption, better coverage, and higher bit rates in larger portions of the coverage area.

All the contemporary mobile networks range between 800 MHz and 3500 MHz, but the 5G cellular technology uses the spectrum above 6GHz. The use of the high frequency not only improves the data speed, but will also offer ‘virtually zero’ latency (time taken by a packet of data to get from one designated point to another). Latency or Delay plays a big role in real-time response for e.g. while playing online games where you don’t want any delays or the game is ruined. Moreover, the future generation mobile communications system will not be used for human communication alone. Instead we will see different types of devices talking to each other on their own, sometimes referred to as the ‘Internet of Things (IOTs)’. Therefore the IOTs requires more reliable communication links but also lower transmission delays (latencies).

5G Demands - Higher capacity, lowest latency and more consistent experience
                       5G Demands – Higher capacity, lowest latency and more consistent experience

5G technology is nowhere near launch and will take some time to get unveiled, but it will certainly bring higher data rates, lower latency, better coverage, and   lots of other features in the coming future. Although the 5G comes with a hefty infrastructure costs, however, lower infrastructure deployment costs, higher versatility and scalability, as well as higher reliability of communication means it will benefit the economy in a long run.