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The mobile data usage has skyrocketed in the past five years. Only in 2015, the increase was 74% and the overall figure round and 3.7 exabytes per month. Mainly due to increased services streaming both an audio and video; and the increased use of mobile applications. 

This increase is a huge challenge for mobile phone companies, since all, as a user, we want our connection to work smoothly at all times, even if we are not connected to any Wifi. In the coming years, the problem could worsen with the arrival of emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality or the Internet of Things. And that’s where the 5G connection, that in the future promises to deliver wireless ultra-high speed comes into play.

Currently, the 4G connection establishes itself as a global standard for our immediate future, at least in developed markets. However, it will eventually be replaced by the 5G that is in development.

But …

  • What exactly is the connection 5G and how it differs from its predecessors?
  • What advantages arrival entail for consumers?
  • And when the transformation will occur?

In this article we explain everything you should know about the connection of the future.

Promises of 5G connection

  • It will provide much faster wireless connections, similar to those achieved by the cabling system Google Fiber.
  • It will solve the problem of the growing demand for mobile data by providing more capacity.
  • It will reduce latency, making wireless communications serve for everything from online games to medical devices.

When the connection 5G consumers come?

In the US, the Federal Communications Commission voted in mid-July, extending an important part of the wireless spectrum above 24GHz, in order to move from the 4G to 5G era. And the next day, the White House presented the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, an investment plan of 400 million, led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which will fund research and other related projects implementation of 5G connection.

Moreover, carriers like Verizon and AT&T have promised to offer and some of the capabilities of the 5G connection next year. Verizon, in particular, has been the first operator to publish, in early July, some details on its specification for 5G connection and both Verizon and AT&T have announced that they will begin to carry out some tests with new technology in 2017.

For other countries:

  • In Japan, NTT DoCoMo made its first test of 5G technology late last year, reaching speeds of 3.6 Gbps.
  • In South Korea, KT Corporation, which is working in partnership with Verizon, announced it plans to present its 5G technology in time for the Olympics Pyeongchang in 2018.
  • In China, the Academy of Telecommunications Research has launched a research program to experiment with 5G connection.
  • In the UK, the government has announced plans to release 750MHz spectrum for public use next -generation telecommunications use in 2022 and has reserved funding for research and development of 5G technology. In addition, the University of Surrey has opened an Innovation Center specializing in 5G and the University of Cambridge has just published the first comprehensive book on the subject, entitled “5G Mobile and Wireless Communications Technology”.

However, it should be noted that any initiative to be carried out will be doing time outside the standard, which is still in development.

The International Telecommunication Union has been working on standardizing the 5G connection and does not provide complete its work by 2020. It will be around that time and, of course, once completed the standard, if begin to implement the 5G connection throughout the world.

According to figures from Ovum, published in June this year, there will be 24 million subscribers to the 5G at the end of 2021 between broadband cable and mobile. Of these, over 40% of global subscriptions to 5G are in North America and Asia, highlighting mainly the United States, Japan, China and South Korea, where operators have already revealed some pretty demanding deadlines for the release of the 5G services. Here is Europe, with around 10% of subscriptions, followed by Middle East and Africa.

Ovum estimates that by the end of 2021, the 5G services will be available in more than 20 markets worldwide and will have wounded the four major regions of the world.

The main stumbling block could be in Europe, where the regulation of the net neutrality could stifle investment. In fact, 20 telecommunications companies, including Nokia, Vodafone, BT and Deutsche Telekom, have already indicated they are willing to invest in technologies 5G in time for 2018, but only if the laws of net neutrality limited. Basically, companies are concerned see reduced return on their investment in 5G technologies as a result of the regulations of neutrality, so depending on how the European Commission decides to handle the situation, the 5G connection could come much later to countries European.

Main difficulties in implementing the 5G connection

Unlike its predecessors, the 5G connection requires more than a simple extension of the frequency spectrum to start working. The reason mainly is that the 5G connection is not a single technology with a unique range of wireless frequency, but a combination of several technologies with different frequencies, licensed and unlicensed. Among them, some already existing and others more innovative requiring new types of infrastructure, in some cases quite costly.

  1. New frequency ranges that need new infrastructure

For example, the 5G network will include parts of the spectrum of ultra-high frequencies that until recently were considered unfit for mobile data connections. However, these frequencies require a direct line of sight between the user device and the access point and that means having to replace the large towers current wireless for small access points well placed and distributed everywhere, with the consequent It costs that entails. Moreover, many of these access points will need to be wired through links “backhaul” to the network of an operator and installation of all this new infrastructural can become extremely expensive.

possible solution to avoid the need for all that wiring antennas could be Terragraph project Facebook that allow access points to connect to each other and can provide connectivity to an entire city with little need for cables.

  1. New legislation needs

The incorporation of new technologies, require adaptation of legislation or existing regulations or the creation of new standards, both at state and local levels, as governments will have to deal with more than just the location of the towers or the granting of permissions for installation.

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