5G Mobile Network

September 1, 2017

Reprinted from Bloomberg

The world’s next mobile network, 5G, promises that it will be blazing fast, make room for the growing number of connected devices, and even be less of a drain on batteries. 5G simply stands for fifth-generation mobile networks or fifth-generation wireless systems. It will be the successor to 4G, the current top-of-the-line network technology first introduced commercially in 2009. 5G could end up being 100 times faster than 4G, with speeds that could reach 10 gigabits per second. This would allow a full-length HD movie to be downloaded in seconds. 5G will also increase total bandwidth, which will be needed to accommodate added demand from the “internet of things” — the ballooning number of objects ranging from refrigerators to traffic lights to dog collars sending and receiving data.

Millimeter waves will carry more data. Numerous base stations will reduce the time it takes waves to travel to and fro and allow some connections to stay local. (Think of calling your friend who’s in the same mall. Instead of sending the signal way out to the network and then having the network send it back to your friend’s phone, the mall’s nearby base stations could handle the connection directly.) More antennae on towers and the fact that data can be transmitted and received at the same time should allow for more connections with almost no delay — known as low latency in networking circles. And 5G should be able to pick up lower-powered radio signals from devices, which would save battery life.