January 31, 2023

The countdown to the much-awaited 5G services launch in India is on. On Thursday, Union communications and Information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the government is planning to roll out 5G services rapidly and expressed the hope of a launch by October.

With the advent of this technology, it is said that our lifestyle will significantly be impacted. Thus, before having first-hand experience of the technology, it becomes imperative to know how exactly it differs from the present 4G technology. This will help us plan better to take the maximum benefit of it once it becomes available for use.

Low level of Latency

The biggest difference said between 4G and 5G is latency. Latency is the time gap between the command and response of the network.

The 5G technology promises very low latency of near 5 milliseconds, while 4G latency ranges from 30 ms to 100 ms.

This will boost the technologies which require quick response time. Self driving vehicles will become much safer thanks to the low latency of 5th generation technology.

Boost in download speed

Where 4G’s download speeds hit 1 Gbps, the goal of 5G is to increase that tenfold to maximum download speeds of 10 Gbps.

The reason 5G is faster than 4G is explained by Ericsson. It says that there is a limit to how much information radio waves can carry depending on frequency band. Now If with present technology we reach that limit, then for someone to get better speed other’s speed will have be compromised.

However, this technology adds more capacity, more space to use, so everyone’s device gets higher data speeds.

Increased connectivity

The wavelengths used by this 5th generation technology may struggle to penetrate building walls and certain types of glass, which will cause poor indoor connectivity and may also require more stations to transmit signals.

Experts say that users can get fast mobile 5G download speeds of over 1 Gbps if they are close to a 5G cell tower. For those at far away locations or at indoor in an office or working from home, a low-powered small cellular base station can be used, which will increase the cell density of the network.

Due to this, it will have an enhanced capacity of handling many devices in the same location, facilitating usage of our phones even during crowded events.

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A new realm of applications

The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. In terms of application, 1G that was introduced in the 1980s was used just to deliver analog voice by translating human voice into electronic pulses.

The second generation – 2G was developed in the early 1990s. This brought digital voice, new technology CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) allowed numerous signals to occupy a single transmission channel. It optimised the use of available bandwidth.

With the world entering into the 21st century, 3G technology was introduced in the early 2000s. This technology felicitated the access to mobile data.

Then, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, 4G commenced the era of mobile broadband bringing high-speed internet.

And now comes the 5G technology. With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, it has the potential to totally revamp the mobile ecosystem. Experts say that the 5G technology will boost every industry – making safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, and digitised logistics.

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