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5G: A Step into the Future?

Posted on 2019-12-12 10:15:00

The fifth generation of the wireless network looks to be going mainstream in 2020. What a time to be alive!

The first generation of wireless technology gave us audio, which allowed for radio transmission and phone calls. 2G came and we were able to send text messages and images (but usually without much success). Then entered 3G, which enabled users to make video calls, process data faster, and also lets you play online games. 4G completely changed the game where at this point, you get better voice and video quality, less buffering, quality streaming and faster downloads. Like 3G but a million times better.

If you thought 4G was the bomb, guess what – 5G! 5G operates mostly on cloud and is set to be 100 times better than 4G in terms of internet speed. How much better? Here’s an example: A two-hour film takes 26 hours to download on 3G, six minutes to download using 4G, and a mere 3.6 seconds to download on 5G. That's 100 times faster than 4G!

If you thought that was impressive, there’s more to what 5G can do. For example, remote surgery. Doctors will be able to perform surgery without even having to be in the same room as the patient. This was actually experimented at King’s College London where doctors used a VR headset and special gloves to control a robot that would perform the actual surgery. This is thanks to 5G eliminating the lag time between the device pinging the network and getting a response.

5G also seems to propel the internet of things, connecting all our devices from your TV to your microwave at the tip of your fingers. Imagine being able to do just about everything with your smartphone – now, that’s really smart!

So what’s stopping us from capitalising 5G’s countless benefits and the ability to boost mankind a very interesting future? Cost. 5G requires a frequency with exceptionally large bandwidth which means it will also need brand new infrastructure.

Which all equals to spending a lot of money to set it up.

Despite this, China and South Korea are currently leading the race for making 5G mainstream as it can get nearly five million users of the technology. The US is also bumping up its efforts to be the nation with the most users of the technology. In fact, experts predict that by 2025, nearly half of the US population will be adopting the technology . WHAT ABOUT MALAYSIA?? CAN WE HAVE SOME LOCAL CONNECTION?

Here’s to a really exciting 2020!

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

By Ahmed Wafi

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