5G - 'The catalyst for Digital Revolution'

Recently, Apple released its new iPhone models. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were 5G enabled smartphones. Also, One Plus released its latest set of 5G affordable 5G smartphones with the One Plus Nord series. The next differentiator in smartphones is going to be a 5G feature for some time. After a few years, it will become a Point of parity among the competitors. But, one clear thing is that the 5G fight has started.

But what is 5G? If you had a common understanding like me, you would have associated 5G with speed. And you would be right. But the question is that is it just about speed? If so, how much speed is it? What other benefits does 5G provide that 4G could not? What were the limitations of 4G that 5G can concur? What are some of the new business applications that 5G can help with? In other words, how is 5G going the change the future of communication? I am sure you would have these questions in your mind when you hear 5G or 4G etc. I definitely did. So, l will try best to answer some of those questions through this article.

What is 5G?

In the simplest terms, 5G is a new cellular standard. Phone carriers have jumped to a new wireless standard roughly every decade. About ten years ago, 4G made mobile internet speeds up to 500 times faster than 3G and allowed HD TV support on mobile, high–quality video calls, and fast mobile browsing. The development of 4G was a massive feat for mobile technology, especially for the evolution of smartphones and tablets.

And now, 5G is believed to be smarter, faster, and more efficient than 4G. It promises mobile data speeds that far outstrip the fastest home broadband network currently available to consumers. With speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G is set to be as much as 100 times faster than 4G.

Low latency is a critical differentiator between 4G and 5G. Latency is the time that passes from the moment information is sent from a device until the receiver can use it. You will be able to download and upload files quickly and easily, without having to worry about the network or phone suddenly crashing. You will also be able to watch a 4K video almost straight away without having to experience any buffering time.

Major Limitations of 4G that 5G is addressing

What 5G can and 4G couldn’t?

After learning about the technological advancements above, it’s essential to understand what business applications we can do with 5G that 4G could not. To be honest, there are lots of them, and it’s not possible to cover all those in this article. So, I will try and discuss some of the important ones that we can relate to them, and it will give you an idea about how big the 5G revolution is going to be.

Automotive Industry

5G could be the key to self-driving cars. For them to work most effectively, they need to rapidly send and receive data to and from other cars, smart roads, and more, which requires a speedy network, low latency, lots of bandwidth, and high reliability. 5G promises all of that.

Significant investment in the research for V2X (Vehicle to everything) communication, where the vehicle communicates with varied elements such as other vehicles, infrastructure, devices, grids, etc. could enable a plethora of use cases such as collision avoidance, real-time traffic routing, pedestrian’s safety alerts, emergency braking, etc. Some features that can be implemented within five years from now include Vehicle sensing, virtual assistants, Real-time data analytics, over the air software upgradation / deployment, virtual assistants, HD maps, and monitoring systems.

Entertainment Industry

Streaming 4K video isn’t something that many people do over 4G. However, with 5G, it should be possible to take a giant leap forward and stream video in 8K quality without waiting for it to buffer.

This is an obvious example of the advantages provided by the more incredible speeds of 5G. Because data can be transferred faster, it’s possible to transfer data more in the same amount of time, meaning that you can stream in far higher qualities with no noticeable difference in how fast and smoothly the footage is delivered.

5G will enable us to move everything to the cloud, and this has massive applications in gaming. With reduced latency, there will be the potential for the games themselves to be streamed, leveraging the power of 5G to handle the heavy lifting in the cloud, allowing for higher end games. Highly detailed AR and VR games in live streams are very much possible.

Smart Cities

There is an expectation that more than 50 billion devices will be connected to mobile networks worldwide by 2050. In the context of smart cities, this will allow us to have various use cases depending on human-human interaction, human-machine interaction, and, most importantly, machine-machine interaction.

The Way forward - Catalyst

I have given a few examples of where 5G can be used. But, 5G has several potential use cases across industry verticals. Most of these can be grouped into three main categories:

These use cases are just the tip of the Iceberg. There are many more critical applications of 5G.

In this Digital Revolution, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is the dominant industry. The focus on the technological shift to 5G in this sector is expected to serve as ‘The Catalyst’ for the next revolution. Faster speeds, higher bandwidth, lower latency – These essential characteristics of 5G will open the door to life-changing innovations.

Now just like the speed of 5G, please share this knowledge with your friends. :)