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Written by Anagha H | Updated: August 21, 2020 11:02:02 am

5G Network: The sphere of technology is constantly evolving, expanding hungrily to coalesce with every corner of our world. So maybe we aren’t living the fantasies of every Sci-Fi author from the ’70s, so we don’t have commercially available flying cars (yet)! Everyone can tell that we have progressed leaps and bounds from the first hallmark invention (the great Wheel). We have in our vicinity an empire of technological devices.

What are you reading this on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop? Either which proves the point. Humankind is pushing the boundaries of automation’s capabilities and 5G Network is only another step in the building of Tech’s integrated palace, albeit a poignant one. It only seems fair that everyone should know what this revolutionary addition is all about!

How 5G Network works

To start off with, let’s look into what 5G Network is and what makes it different from 4G or 3G. 5G is the fifth generation global, wireless mobile network being designed and introduced to connect everything.

Yup, everything.

The possibilities range from intricately linked IoT appliances, like Tony Stark’s apartment, to mission-critical communications- think internet-connected cars, environmental sensors, etc- to über advanced smartphones.

The basis of this super-connectivity that 5G offers are based on its clever plan to use the bandwidths that are currently being unconsumed. There are broadly three categories of the aforementioned- low, mid, and high ranges, with the last being the most lucrative aspect. It uses a technology termed “millimeter wave” which enables a supremely accelerated speed (10 Gigabytes per second) allowing people to download a movie within seconds or stream 10 videos at once. Pretty cool, right? Isn’t it exciting to learn about this? Sorry to burst your
the bubble then, because this major feature of 5G Network has a major flaw that researchers are burning the midnight oil to resolve- it can’t be implemented just yet.

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The Hurdles

The issue with the hyped millimeter wave is that it cannot transmit its potent high frequencies over a large distance. It would probably cover your colony, at the very best. It is also susceptible to interruptions from things like cars, other humans, walls, and even rain. To compensate for this restrictive bandwidth, there would need to be miniature access points installed everywhere, instead of your nominal two or three cell towers in a block.

The race to overcome this hurdle has since the likes of the international drama starring the USA, grappling to come out on top of China and Huawei. The country has imposed several sanctions on Chinese products, citing security reasons and emphasizing the implications of letting China amass colossal amounts of data via 5G, while its own watchdog agency, the FCC, gutted 5G Network’s net neutrality policies to authorize more investments.

How to overcome the millimeter issue

Thus, 5G Network is presently focusing on its release in the low range bands (similar to existing 4G cellphones) and mid-range bands, which are a considerable improvement from the network our devices use today. It provides minimal latency lag (say goodbye to buffering!) and low web congestion, meaning high-speed availability of network connections- this is the phase of 5G being utilized in 38 countries as of now, including the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, and the UK, to name a few.

The future with 5G Network

On the plus side, the promise of this development is essentially the substratum of a future with seamless virtual and augmented reality experiences, empowering breakthroughs in the medical, manufacturing, and countless other industries.

On the flip side, the security concerns being raised over how easy it would be to hack into hardware devices such as IoT appliances and internet-connected cars is not trivial, especially if said gadgets contain confidential and private information, like medical reports. The cost of developing a 5G infrastructure is exorbitant right now and possibly the biggest downside is that most old gadgets are not compatible with 5G, you would have to buy a new smartphone to employ the use of 5G Network.

Maybe we’ll get a flying car on the market before 5G, in all its 10Gbps glory, gets out…!

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