Q. When is the 5G technology expected to become a reality?
A. The 5th generation technology for cellular systems is expected to materialize by 2020, only to witness deployment thereafter. To begin with, this technology will have the fastest speed ever, introducing its users to a never-seen-before social and economic advantage, creating a ‘hyperconnected society,’ making mobile phones even more important in the near future. However, the 5th generation technology for cellular devices hasn’t been defined yet. Riding high on expectations and a vague outline, the 5G technology market is witnessing a rising number of investments. Reports suggest that South Korea is all set to invest US$1.5 bn for research and development into next-generation 5G networks, which is expected to be about 1,000 times faster than the current networks.
Q. What can we expect from 5G technology?
A. While improved speed and data quality is an obvious expectation, the development of 5G technology is expected to bring in a range of new solutions such as enhanced security and uninterrupted connectivity. With these upgrades, the overall 5G technology market is expected to create a seamless groundwork for a wide range of services in areas of e-health, Internet of Things, connected cars, smart homes, and several others.
The development and deployment of 5G could lead telesurgeries performed by robots with long distance consultation from surgeons a reality. With tremendous speed, 5G technology is expected to eliminate latency and build reliable links for the telemedicine sector to evolve and reach out to remote locations on the planet. The list of consumer expectations also reads the critical contribution of 5G technology in car-to-infrastructure communication, the remote management of self-driving trains, and self-driving cars.
On yet another note, the introduction of 5G also brings in the hope of high-definition video of 4K and 8K along with the ability to watch 3D on portable devices. It also opens a discussion on the addition of realistic features to 3D gaming with new virtual reality experiences at reduced prices. According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, 5G technology is expected to support millimeter wave, M2M/IoT, spectrum sharing, multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), and application and device-centric network architectures.
Q. What is the current commercial status of 5G technology?
A. On January 29, 2016, Google announced its plan to design and develop SkyBender, solar-powered drones, which will operate on the 5G network. Project SkyBender is experimenting with high-frequency millimeter wave radio transmissions, which have the capacity to transmit gigabits of data per second at a speed that is 40 times more than today’s 4G LTE systems. The aim of this project is to have several self-flying aircraft at higher altitudes to offer internet access to the world. Meanwhile, the UK government recently revealed its plans to make the UK a world leader in 5G.
What the next incarnation of wireless technology can and cannot do is still left to a lot of anticipation and research and development. However, it is for sure that the demands and needs of the 21st century will need the best of technologies to march ahead into a better tomorrow.