5G (Fifth Generation Techonology)

Introduction to 5G

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks which have greater bandwidth hence giving higher download speed. The first country to adopt 5G on a large scale was South Korea in April 2019. It is expected that this technology will not just serve cell phones likes existing cellular networks but also be used as ISP (Internet Service provider) competing with existing ISPs. Here, I would like to look into advantages and disadvantages of 5G technology in this essay.

Current Situation of 5G

Some of the countries like South Korea, China, Japan and US have been using 5G technology due to the increased bandwidth. The fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45 Mbps (Megabit per second) on average. However, 5G mobile networks can achieve 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) and more than that. 5G network uses higher frequencies which put the radio signals less than the ionizing range and the number of base stations will be increased.

Working of 5G Network  
Source

Working Principle of 5G

Basically, 5G network uses millimeter waves which are in the frequency spectrum of 30-300 GHz (Giga Hertz) resulting in higher speed. Millimeter waves are not able to transmit the signals to greater distances. So, it is necessary to use small cell around the streets. Basically, Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access nodes that operate spectrum having a range of 10 meters to a few kilometers.  MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) is used to facilitate the signals in all directions. Also, beamforming method is used which is achieved by combining elements in an antenna array in such a way that signals at particular angles experience constructive interference while others experience destructive interference [1]. Edge computing is delivered by computing servers closer to the ultimate user [1]. It mainly reduces latency which is much useful in self-driving car.

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On the brighter side

There is no doubt that 5G has many advantages. The world is using increasing numbers of mobiles and we are consuming more data every year in video conference, online games, downloading and so on. 5G is much better at handling thousands of devices simultaneously. Similarly, natural disaster including tsunami, earthquake, etc can be detected faster. In fact, the bandwidth of 5G is very high as compared to other networks due to which visualizing and analyzing the data of universe, galaxy and planets can be done faster. To provide uniform, uninterrupted, consistent connectivity and low latency across the world is possible with the help of 5G technology.

On the downside

 About a year ago, there is rumor that 5G is dangerous to our health. Actually, this news is not true. It seems quite impossible that the electromagnetic radiation of 5G causes cancer because this wave is non-ionizing. It means such wave hasn’t sufficient energy to break apart DNA and cellular damages do not occur. According to BBC news, this wave is far less energetic than the visible light which we experience every day. Already an experiment was done for testing in which rats’ whole bodies were exposed to radiation but cancer cells were not developed [2]. Although experiments and researches are still running to make 5G technology better for our health.

 In spite of beneficial effects, 5G has its drawbacks. 5G is more costly as compared to other network technology because more numbers of base stations are required as I’ve mentioned above. Most of the old devices do not support 5G network, so that, all of them need to be replaced with new expensive devices. This technology is still under process and has been implemented only in few regions of the world. We have to remember that it is very difficult to install in our country because it requires enough budget to implement.

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To sum up

From what has been discussed above, we may draw the conclusion that we should consider both aspects of 5G technology i.e. positive and negative aspects. 5G is a successor to 4G and faster than previous generation of network in one hand and difficult to install all over the world on the other hand. If we could overcome such problems, then we can use 5G technology effectively and efficiently.  

References:

1. Wikipedia. 5G. Wikipedia. [Online] June 13, 2020. [Cited: June 14, 2020.] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G.

2. BBC. NEWS. BBC. [Online] January 28, 2020. [Cited: June 14, 2020.] https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44871448.

Yudip PaudelYudip Paudel

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