What Does 5G Mean For You?
Before discussing 5G, it is important to remember when 4G became a thing.
It was a while ago, I know.
It was about the time we all began using smartphones.
This was no coincidence, as the power of 4G gave us the ability to stream video and music wirelessly. Before that, everything needed to be downloaded ahead of time…usually to an iPod instead of your flip phone.
The explanation for this is because 4G made our connecting power so much stronger, the internet could be accessed from (almost) anywhere.
Soon enough 4G will be outdated. What will take over? Well, 5G of course! Although this advancement is still in development, we might be seeing this new technology sooner than you think.
What follows is a brief overview of 5G. What it is, how it works, why it will effect you, and when we might expect its arrival.
With that said, let’s take a look at how it might be helping us in the not-so-distant future.
How it Works
Right now, smart phones receive their 4G internet connection from cell phone towers. Upgrading to 5G worldwide will include the addition of thousands of small towers which will assist in boosting signal.
This, in a fashion, is already happening. You might have noticed little white boxes being attached to telephone poles. These are being used to beam internet directly into buildings instead of running cables.
The goal of 5G is, in essence, to grow mobile connections from High Speed Internet into a ‘Super’ High Speed Internet.
Data and Speed
The upgrade to 5G will increase mobile Internet speeds to the point where streaming audio and video will be near instantaneous. Additionally, load time should be all but eliminated.
Video chat on smartphones will also have upgraded quality. Your connection should never again ‘break up’ during video conversations.
Furthermore, mobile gaming will increase in speed and efficiency, expanding the world of entertainment.
The 5G upgrade will shrink what is known as latency. Latency is the delay between when data is sent and when it is received. 5G will begin to send information in Gigabits instead of Megabits, transferring a significantly larger amount of data in the same amount of time.
The most recognizable place we should see this reduction in latency is with the increase of self-driving cars. 5G is expected to give cars (like other devices) the ability to communicate with each other at unfathomable speeds.
Currently, while moving at 55 miles an hour, a self-driving car will travel several feet by the time it receives and interprets a message from another vehicle. After 5G sets in, that same car will travel just a few centimeters before it analyses that data.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Thins is a phrase you may have heard before. What it means is instead of just your phone and computer (and maybe your able watch) being hooked up to the internet and communicating with each other, suddenly other devices will be working together. This could be your car, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.
5G presents the first real opportunity for the Internet of Things to begin collaborating in earnest.
When Will 5G Be Available?
5G is largely still in development by several technology companies. Additionally, these companies will eventually have to agree on standards for this new technology.
That being said, Verizon has just launched a test run in four cities. Right now, if you live in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles or Sacramento, you have the opportunity to be a ‘First on 5G’ member. Residents of these areas, may want to contact Verizon about the 5G Home installation.
For the rest of us, 5G may still be a ways off. Verizon will have to work out the kinks of its program while companies like AT&T are yet to even begin their beta testing.
Don’t worry though, in this world of ever faster technology, the days of 5G Internet will arrive in what seems like to time at all.
When 5G arrives, the implementation should be quick and painless. Until then, however, computers frequently have problems. If you have any IT related questions, please leave a comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.