The super-fast 5G networks are no longer a thing of the future. They are all set to revolutionise the mobile networking sector. This new global wireless standard follows on its counterparts’ networks in keeping with the burgeoning needs for speed and connectivity. The roll-out of 5G connectivity within the highly competitive telecommunications industry enables a seamless network to connect every device virtually, from machines and home appliances, 5G phones to IoT devices. Surveys predict that, by 2024, 5G will be connecting more than 1.5 billion smart devices!
5G will soon become a mass-market service, leading to the evolution of operator service portfolios. 5G networks are meant to deliver multi-Gbps speeds and super-low latency with more reliability and tremendous network capacity. Increased access to the 5G network can offer a more immersive user experience to all parts of the mobile phones industry value chain. This includes smart 5G phones, gadgets, and network structures.
4G to 5G: A Great Leap Forward
The evolution of mobile technology has gone through four stages in India till now, with each generation of network improvising on the last. Every new cohort of networks is focused on minimising network congestion and offering speed improvements. In this regard, 5G has been both evolutionary and revolutionary for the world.
Released in the late 2000s, 4G networks emerged as the 4th-generation broadband cellular network technology. The 4G network is 50 times faster than its 3G predecessor. 4G can support high-definition mobile TV, clear voice calls, video conferencing, and much more.
However, with the number of IoT devices increasing by leaps and bounds, existing 4G networks are hard-pressed to provide large data transfer volumes and faster speeds to meet consumer demands. The 5G networks that hit the market in 2018, employ a massive up-scaling of network technology and allow access to thousands of 5G devices. Adoption of 5G in India and other major countries across the world raises one question: beyond faster speeds and lower latency rates, what makes 5G different from 4G?
5G vs. 4G: A Comparison
There is more to 5G connectivity than just higher speeds and low latency rates. Let’s have an insight into the contrasting features.
While 4G networks are built on LTE technology that can support a theoretical speed of 100-300Mbps, they only paved the way for HD streaming with fast download speeds. On the other hand, 5G networks are capable of speeds as high as 10-30 Gbps, with very low latency and improved reliability.
Latency rate is the time taken by a signal to go from its source to the receiver and then receive a response. The latency rate in 4G networks is approximately 40 to 50 milliseconds. For 5G networks, it is only one millisecond! On top of that, with enhanced network traffic optimisation, the handling of spikes is much smoother in 5G connectivity networks than 4G. This greatly enhances the user experience.
The real change to be noticed with 5G connectivity is the utilisation of spectrum blocks by the network operators, which influences the data transfer speeds. 4G networks are constrained by less capacity, even while the number of users is increasing day by day. 5G will have a hundred times more capacity than 4G.
Estimates show that 5G connectivity can connect up to one million devices per square kilometer. This is an enormous number in comparison to 4G’s 10K-100K supported devices per square kilometer.
Application and Usage
5G devices have a robust capability to provide high-definition video streaming on mobile networks, autonomous vehicular systems, immersive gaming, and high-end Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications that enable an AI interface.
5G Adaptation: The Need of the Hour
Undoubtedly, 5G is the future of technology whose time has arrived. It has been already deployed in more than 60 countries worldwide, with faster rollouts compared to 4G. For consumers, the excitement is all about the high speeds and low latencies in 5G devices. But 5G phones and devices go beyond this to provide enhanced mobile broadband and massive IoT with mission-critical services.
STL continues to develop wireless equipment to gear up for the upcoming 5G deployments. With the launch of three innovative wireless products in the December 2020 quarter, STL aims to provide the desired back-end infrastructure with open radio access network (ORAN) deployments for 5G in India and abroad.