5G also known as 5th Generation Cellular Network Technology is the latest technology in Mobile network services which also provides High-Speed Broadband services. The industry association 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project is a standards organization which develops protocols for mobile telephony. Its best-known work is the development and maintenance of GSM & 2G standards (GPRS, EDGE), UMTS & 3G (HSPA), LTE & 4G(LTE Advanced, LTE Advanced Pro)) defines any system using “5G NR” software (5G New Radio) as “5G”, the definition which started in the year 2018. Others reserved this term for the use of a system which is compatible for ITU IMT-2020(International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020 Standard) are the requirements issued by the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2015 for 5G networks, devices, and services.).
Early Implementation of 5G
The first deployments of 5G technology was seen in April 2019 when in South Korea companies claimed more than 80,000 base stations (SK Telekom claimed 38,000 base stations, KT Corporation 30,000 and LG U Plus 18,000). 85% of all those major base stations were located in the 6 major cities of South Korea. The tested speeds were from 193 to 430 Mbit/s down. Now for general users, 430 Mbit/s means you can download an HD Movie of 2GB to 4GB in less than 2 minutes while for the gamers you could download a video game such as GTA V, or other similarly larger games of more than 50 GBs can be downloaded within 20 minutes. In South Korea, in the first month more than 260,000 people signed up and the goal is to transfer 10% of phones on 5G by the end of 2019.
In the US, Verizon opened few base stations in the cities of Chicago and Minneapolis. In May 2018, the download speeds in Chicago were as low as 80 Mbit/s and reached up to 900 Mbit/s while the uploading speed was between 12 Mbit/s and 57 Mbit/s. The round-trip delay time or Ping time was 25 milliseconds. It was noticed that Verizon’s 5G services were regularly hitting the highest data transfer rate of 1 Gbit/s in some locations. That means you can download a video game of a size of 50Gb in less than 7 minutes.
Six prominent companies sell 5G hardware and 5G systems for carriers: Huawei, ZTE, Nokia, Samsung, Datang/Fiberhome, and Ericsson.
Importance of 5G Technology
I will try to keep things simple for your understanding. With the arrival of the 4th industrial revolution in the Mobile Telecommunication sector “5G”, the Telecom experts are going wild on it. There are many high-tech devices available in the market which are building up the capacity to work with the technology as great as 5G so that the companies can reach the consumer in a better way.
“The application of 5G technology will result in massive changes for both consumers and enterprises. 5G networks will offer consumers incredible broadband speeds at home (up to 20Gb/s). It will also enable companies to make advancements such as even smarter, better-connected cars, advancements in medical technologies and improved retail experiences through personalization.” – Jeff Weisbein, founder and CEO of digital media company Best Techie
In an interview with Mr. O’Malley – A spokesperson for Verizon, said: “Through a combination of high speeds, super low latency, and massive bandwidth, 5G will allow for improvements in VR, AR, cloud gaming, robotics, immersive education, healthcare and more. It will allow you to send so much more data so much faster and technology will be more responsive.”
So what can we exactly expect from 5G?
1. Improved Quality/Precision
5G uses a frequency distribution technique in which the distribution is directional. In the previous technology “4G” the towers send data all over due to which more power is wasted and the speed of internet is not stable due to no clear direction. In 5G, the directional approach is important because the frequencies are much higher as well as the data transfer rate. As compared to 4G, the data transfer rate will be even more than 20 times of the previously used technology. Just to know, 4G network uses frequencies below 6 GHz, while 5G uses frequencies much higher crossing over 30 GHz up to 300 GHz.
The higher the frequency the greater will be its ability to support huge data transfers without interfering with other signals.
5G uses shorter wavelengths, which means towers will be shorter without interfering with the direction of the wavelengths. So 5G technology can support approx. 1,000 more devices per meter as compared to 4G technology. With 5G Technology, larger data sets will be transferred at a much higher speed level without any disruption meeting surging data demands.
5G networks will precisely understand the data being requested by a particular device and can self-modulate power mode that means the power will go as low as supporting the least amount of devices and will rise only if there is a need for more data connections which will ultimately save the energy.
2. Low Latency
In 5G technology, the signals travel faster than 4G which ultimately results in low latency. As O’Malley said, “We’re talking latency of a millisecond on 5G networks”. The webpages will load faster than ever, allowing for a significantly greater immersive experience, particularly in the realms of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
In an interview with Mr. Mo Katibeh, CMO, AT&T Business about Video Streaming said: “Video now makes up more than half of our mobile data traffic. Our video traffic grew over 75 percent and smartphones drove almost 75 percent of our data traffic in the last year alone. ‘Viral videos’ and ‘binge-watching’ are part of the cultural lexicon now. Technologies such as AI and machine learning offer great potential but require high bandwidth and low latency to achieve optimal performance. The same is true for technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, which can offer a customer experience like nothing before.”
Since 5-G has the lowest latency rate yet, this could mean endless opportunities in the future as it will revolutionize everything related to how we perceive technology. “In the not-too-distant future, mirrors could be replaced with high-resolution monitors with Internet of Things (IoT) cameras that allow you to ‘virtually’ try on dozens or hundreds of combinations of clothing. You could ‘swipe right’ to try on another shirt or even automatically get recommendations on accessories.” – offered Katibeh
In developed countries, Autonomous Cars have been introduced and 5G technology will become a stepping stone for the technology to thrive. With low latency and no stuttering, the services would work fine and will even improve with time. This will also minimize the problems currently faced by the industries who are working with the Self-Driving Cars. That’s what we call the Evolution of Technology.
3. Higher Download Speeds
This is good news for Gamers. With 5G technology, you can download larger games in few minutes. You can do live streaming with 4K settings, you can stream of YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram at the same time without any stuttering.
For General consumer, the huge data sets won’t make much of a difference. Since they usually download small files and rarely upload. Still, everybody wants to have the highest speed so that they could perform whatever their tasks are in few seconds, and that will be possible with 5G. Since 5G has the potential to be 20 times faster than 4G, you can download your data 20 times faster. A task that needed 20 minutes to perform will be completed in 1 minute only. 5G has a peak speed of 20 Gbps while 4G is only 1 Gbps.
With experience, we all know that peak speeds are usually considered to identify the range for service. That means we usually don’t always get the peak speed. Same goes for the lowest speed range. Usually, the speed lies somewhere in between. Since 5G is still under development mode we cannot surely identify the speed range of 5G, but as a mean, we can consider that the 5G technology will be at least 10 times faster than the 4G Technology.
Since we discussed the benefits and the revolutionary technological advancements were discussed above. We cannot deny the outcomes of that revolutionary technology. How it will affect the Human Race and our lives. Until now, the technology was designed to identify the needs of humans and how they can benefit from it but scientists around the globe are considering 5G technology to be the advancement not for humans but for machines. 5G achieves this by distribution smaller data packages which allows a faster transmission time. 4G had a fifty-millisecond delay but 5G merely has a delay of one millisecond. We as humans will not understand that difference of delay since the 4G working fine for us, but 5G will allow machines to achieve seamless results, and that may be a troublesome thought to have.
1. Shorter Wavelengths – More Towers
Since 5G technology uses a much higher frequency level (30Ghz to 300Ghz) there is also a problem with it. Higher frequencies have a shorter length. Which means that if a tower of 4G was serving 1000 homes under its radar, a 5G tower would only support 250-300. Also, the Frequency waves are absorbed by rain and plants causing disruption. Hope you are going where I’m going… yes! More towers! There will be lots and lots of antennas all over your towns and cities. There will be an antenna right next to your home on a pole.
As of 2015, there were more than 308,000 wireless antennas on cell towers, well… That’s double the 2002 number. Yet 5G would require even more, smaller antennas, much closely placed, with each emitting bursts of Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR)–granted, at levels much lower than that of 4G Cell tower – and this will not be easy to avoid since there will be so many of them. If only we could see the RFR, it would look like a cloud or smog that’s spread all over, everywhere, all the time.
2. Health Problems
In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released a report according to which the use of Cell Phone can cause some form of Brain tumors, and the specifically mentioned reason was the use of Radio Frequency radiation (RFR).
Studies have shown that the low-level RFR exposure can cause serious health-related problems, including:
DNA single and double-strand breaks (which leads to cancer)
Oxidative damage (which leads to tissue deterioration and premature aging)
Disruption of cell metabolism
Increased blood-brain barrier permeability
Melatonin reduction (leading to insomnia and increasing cancer risks)
Disruption of brain glucose metabolism
Generation of stress proteins (leading to myriad diseases)
As you can see the low level of RFR dosage causes disruption in your body systems, imagine how that will affect when the frequencies will be twenty times higher, more continuous and closer to your body as compared to previously used technologies.
The strongest concern human race have right now is that the effects of that much high frequencies on human skin. Just to let you know there are two layers in the human skin named as Epidermis and Dermis. While over 90%of the microwave radiation is absorbed by these two layers. It is considered that most of the frequencies used in Telecom are beyond the skin’s layer’s dimensions so they don’t usually get absorbed so quickly. But the frequencies used in 5G are High-Frequency Millimeter Waves which violates this condition. Also, in our skin, there are millions of sweat ducts and acts like a Helical Antenna (A helical antenna is an antenna consisting of one or more conducting wires making a spherical shape). With higher frequencies and millions of Sweat ducts in our bodies, more waves will be absorbed making our bodies more conductive to the radiation.
Millimeter Waves (MMW) can cause our Pain Receptors to flare up in recognition of the waves as damaging stimuli. There is a strategy already used by the US Department of Defense called Active Denial System, in which they project MMWs at a specific crowd to make their skin feel like it is burning, and they can even microwave the population to death from far away. This is Possible with 5G Technology if they want to do so. – This is concerning.
3. Effect on Animals
A US National Toxicology Program did a study that showed that the male rats exposed to Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) for nine hours a day for over two years developed rare forms of tumors in their brains and hearts, and damaged the DNAs of rats of both sexes.
Another research illustrates how microwave radiations and MMW’s can damage the eyes and immune system, cell growth rate, and bacterial resistance. An experiment at the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University showed that 60GHz MMW Antennas produce thermal injuries in rabbit eyes, with thermal effects reaching below the eye’s surface. What’s important to note here is that the danger of 5G technology is not only impacting Human Health but also impacting all the living beings on the planet Earth.
4. Effect on Earth
The 5G infrastructure would pose a threat to the atmosphere of Earth. The implementation of %G network requires many short lifespan satellites via suborbital rockets propelled by hydrocarbon rocket engines. In simple words, there will be so many rocket launching in the sky, spreading so many black carbons in the atmosphere destroying the entire ecosystem. That will affect our health, will cause changes in temperature, will decline the growth of our food and will become the reason for the destruction of our atmosphere for sure.
Since we cannot control the growth and implementation of 5G Technology, it is better to at least understand what is coming next for us and for the next generation. Try to avoid 5G as much as you can until the authorities find out a better solution to provide such a service. Share your thoughts about 5G or previously used technologies. Also, share the knowledge of future technologies that will help us learn and will benefit our readers as well.