5G-What Does it Mean for Me?

November 1, 2018
Brenda Eisenschenk

5G is finally becoming a reality, what are all the “G’s” about, what does it mean to me and why is everyone so excited about it?

1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G……. what do they mean?

The G means it’s a generation of wireless technology. Generations have technically been defined by their data transmission speeds. Each generation has included technologies that were faster and conceivably more reliable than the one before it.

  • 1980 – 1G was analog cellular and could make simple phone calls.
  • 1990 – 2G technologies, such as CDMA, GSM, and TDMA, were the first generation of digital cellular technologies and the first to offer simple text messaging.
  • 2003 – 3G technologies, such as EVDO, HSPA, and UMTS, brought speeds from 200kbps to a few megabits per second and allowed you to do multiple things on your phone at the same time, like web browsing, email, voice and video calls.
  • 2009 – 4G technologies, such as WiMAX and LTE, were the next incompatible leap forward, and they are now, with 5G, scaling up to hundreds of megabits and even gigabit-level speeds.

CLICK HERE for a fun explainer video.

5G brings three new aspects to the table: greater speed (to move more data), lower latency (to be more responsive), and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices). The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G-NR, won’t be compatible with 4G. But all 5G devices, initially, will need 4G because they’ll lean on it to make initial connections before trading up to 5G where it’s available. 4G will continue to improve with time, as well. The real advantages of 5G will come in massive capacity and low latency, beyond the levels 4G technologies can achieve


How 5G works?

Like other cellular networks, 5G networks use a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. In essence, it force feeds data through multiple sub-signals that are simultaneously transmitted at different frequencies to the receiver.


What will 5G means to me?

5G will boost speeds up to 10Gbps and offer lower latency. Currently it may take several minutes to over an hour to download a movie to your phone, with 5G it would be a matter of seconds which will offer a greater experience for consumers.

Video chats will be surreal. The imagery will feel very immersive and you will feel like you can almost touch the other person.

Widespread autonomous vehicles will become a reality, telehealth applications, smart clothing, ingestible health monitors, the list of possibilities is endless. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of devices embedded into everyday objects via the internet. (refrigerators, Alexa, Echo, thermostats, garage doors, just to name a few).

As you can probably tell, this technology excites me, and I can’t wait to see all the applications that will come from 5G technology.  The big question is WHEN will it be available, but you know we’ll be here to help you get what you need when it does.

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