What is 5G Anyway?

What is 5G Anyway?

What is 5G

If you have had a cell phone for a while, you have experienced the move from, say, 2G to 3G and then from 3G to 4G. In making those changes, the main selling point has always been “moving to the new ‘G’ will make my communications faster and possibly more reliable”. That is why it always seems to be a no-brainer for us to upgrade our devices. After all, who wants to live in the stone age when everyone else has moved on and is able to make us salivate at what they are able to do with their phones that we can’t. So here are some reasons why you will want to go to a 5G cell phone as soon as it hits your area.

Speed

Speed of 5G
Photo by Yarik Mishin

Yes, your 5G cell phone will be faster – faster than 4G for sure. The difference between the speeds of 3G and 4G were dramatic. When 4G came along, it was up to TEN TIMES faster than 3G, so everyone wanted it. That increase brought the speed of devices up to between 20Mbps and 50Mbps – a phenomenal advance, and well worth the transition to a new 4G capable device.

The jump to 5G is even more dramatic, more exciting and more in-tune with today’s data hungry systems. We demand more from our devices, and newer technologies on many fronts such as banking, gaming, searching, data storage and even mundane telecommunications require, even demand, greater speed, greater capacities and greater efficiency of operation. Enter: 5G. As I said earlier, the jump from 3G to 4G made our devices up to 10 times faster. The QUANTUM LEAP to 5G will make our devices up to ONE HUNDRED times faster! That is up to 100 gigabits (100,000Mbps)! But that isn’t all. Speed is only part of the picture.

Greater Interconnection

Photo by akaak19

Imagine riding in your autonomous (driverless) car while watching a new release movie on your phone and being able to change the thermostat in your home or set your home security system or check on your bank account with no problems – no interruptions, no waiting, no dropped calls or bad connections. With 5G, the bandwidth for all of these operations will be handled with ease. This will all be possible due to the increased bandwidth incorporated by 5G technology.

You may have heard of the “Internet of Things”. What is it? Well, Wikipedia says, “The Internet of things is the extension of Internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded within electronics, internet connectivity, and other forms of hardware, these devices can communicate and interact with others over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.” All of this will be augmented and normalized by the advent of 5G. By 2020, over 20 BILLION electronic devices and systems will be interconnected by means of 5G. So the dawn of 5G goes far beyond cell phones alone.

Increased Efficiency

The future is 5G
Photo by Jeff Hire

If you are riding in a driverless vehicle, or if a semi tractor trailer filled with goods, is driving down the interstate at 70 miles an hour, you don’t want a lag of even 1/10th of a second between a road hazard being detected and the vehicle taking appropriate action to keep you or a cargo safe. Have you ever stepped on the gas of your late model car and noticed the lag between the pedal being pushed and your engine responding? In a 5G world, those lags will vanish. And that, of course, is a good thing!

Personally, right now, I don’t feel like I want to ride in a driverless car. Not at any rapid rate of speed anyway. There could be too much delay between stimulus and response with current technologies. But when 5G becomes a common reality, things like that will no longer be a cause of concern. If your surgeon in Minneapolis is using robotic surgery to operate on you in another Florida or Kenya, I dare say you don’t want any lag in his movements as he navigates your internal organs. This too will be made possible by 5G.

Cons?

Although the rollout of 5G has commenced, it is not yet available in all places. The strength and bandwidth require stronger signals and will need towers that are much closer together than existing cell phone towers. This is being remedied on an ongoing basis but, hey, this is a big country. It will take a while, just as the placement and building of older technology cell phone towers did. The places where the new technology is already in use are in certain metropolitan areas.

Since this process will be continually expanding coverage, you will need to check with your cell phone telecommunications provider to find out when and where their system has or will have 5G. Trying to include all the existing areas in this article would be an exercise in futility and a list would be out-of-date pretty quickly after being published.

Is there any danger in adopting 5G? With the introduction of any new sort of invention or technology, there often come questions about its safety. When microwave ovens first rolled out, people were (and maybe some still are) concerned about the radiation they produced. There were people who worried about men becoming sterile if they stood too close to one. Research has shown that such concerns are unnecessary. When cell phones came out, there were reports that cell phone use could cause brain cancer. In fact, some people still hold to that anxiety. Some users alter the way they carry their phone or limit its use due to the possibility of their cell phone having some adverse effect on them. Again, research doesn’t indicate the levels of anxiety that these users have.

The research I have done indicates that there is no specific, verifiable danger to the new signals that will be used by 5G cell phones. The levels of radiation from existing cell phones is at a very low level – somewhere around 2 GHz (Gigahertz). 5G will bring that level up to about 70 GHz. Cause for concern? Not really. Research has shown that for this form of radiation to have a deleterious effect, the level would have to reach around 2.4 MILLION GHz. So don’t give in to any hysteria about this great advance in telecommunications. Don’t let it prevent you from enjoying its benefits.

Conclusion

Go ahead. Make the move. Even if you have to wait for 5G to be active in your area, it is the “wave of the future”, so you may as well jump in with both feet. And according to all the research I have done, since 5G is more than just the next iteration of the “G” family, we are told that there won’t be a need for a 6G, 7G, etc. because 5G is so much more than just an advance in speed. Are you interested in seeing what cell phones are available now? Then click here and you will be taken to a page that shows the major contenders right now! It’s a whole new way to utilize technology. Let’s get going. Welcome to the future!

Photo by createsima
Leave Comment
  1. 1

    Rick

    You are putting yourself out there with this topic as I have heard many people arguing just the opposite. I have to say up front that I am not concerned about 5G, even if there are heath issues with it.

    This is one of those things that we all need to pay attention to and be open to the truth. It may be that you are correct and there are no issues or there could be a range of issues to minor or sever. I cannot weigh in on the topic as I just do not know the answer.

    I respect you putting the information out there and the bottom line for me is that we all need to live our lives without fear so thank you for sharing your article.

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Thanks for your comment. I always try to research all sides of an issue the best I can. On this subject, it becomes pretty clear that health scares from 5G are unwarranted at this time. I would relegate such concerns to the realm of conspiracy theories.

      Reply
  2. 1

    Chloe

    I must confess I love every bit of the explanation you have given about the efficiency of this 5g. I am currently on 4G operator and I feel comfortable using it, the imagination of me using 5G is really wonderful. From its con’s, I wouldn’t mind using a 5g just because its not very common, there are devices which allows you to decide on which to use either 5,4 or 3G. So as it stands, if I can get a 5g, I wouldn’t mind using it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      You are right, Chloe. That is one of the reasons I recommend everyone go ahead and get a 5G phone now instead of waiting. First, any time you travel into a 5G area, you will automatically be on that system. When you leave it, you will still have the next fastest system to run on, your 4G. Second, when your area becomes 5G, you will already be on it. On the other hand, a 4G device will not run on 5G. So why not have the most advanced and adaptable product?

      Reply
  3. 1

    SeunJeremiah

    This is very informative, another significant change for 5G will be to centralise much of the processing that in the past was carried out at the base stations. Dealing with the high density of devices and doing sophisticated processing requires a great deal of computing power, which means the detailed standards for mobile cellular networks are still to be formalised. Without them, companies cannot produce networking equipment and handsets

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      I appreciate your input, Seun. The effects on so many industries and businesses will certainly be extraordinary. Starting with the companies that mine the rare metals needed, to the microchip manufacturers to the electronic device designers and manufacturers to the transmission engineering to the tower builders and on and on, things are changing all the time. 

      Reply
  4. 1

    Gaurav Gaur

    Hi, Jack.
    Thanks for the informative article on the introduction of 5G.
    I am waiting for the wave of the future. We expect 5G by the end of this year in our region and we are too excited to be the part of the club. 5G connection is definitely going to change our life.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Thanks, Guarav. The great thing is that the rollout gives every new region some time to make the switch. The major metropolitan areas, with their large populations and existing towers are obviously the first to have functional 5G. But remember also that 5G will influence far more than just cell phones. The overall impact has yet to be seen, but it will be exciting to watch the changes!

      Reply
  5. 1

    Factchecker

    You forgot to mention the biggest con (if we don’t mind about dangers of 5G) of 5G, as every electrical engineer and physician know, due the frequency of the 5G waves, it does NOT go through walls and you need lots of routers, basically every room needs its own or wired connection between devices. As an example in my former university, they needed 15 routers to cover all the areas with decent connections, now they have +400 routers to maintain its 5G network. And about dangers of these microwaves; IF it would be an unnecessary concern or “hysteria”, Switzerland would never make the law in their parliament to stop ALL preparations to build 5G before there is available non-biased information and proof that 5G is safe. Third; IOT or internet of things is made possible by inventions we allready know and use like led lights, not by 5G. LiFi is a wireless technology holds the key to solving challenges faced by 5G. LiFi can transmit at multiple gigabits, is more reliable, virtually interference free and uniquely more secure than radio technology such as Wi-Fi or 5G. Lifi and internet of things are great and have been part of our lifes past 2-3 years, 5G may be a “buff” for these but nothing significant or game-changing. Hopefully non-develophed countries gets LIFi asap. I have heard there are even some western countries where virtually nobody or only it experts uses LiFi and internet of things at this moment but i dont know is it true. I though every modern western civilization uses them as we here in scandinavia.

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack Stephens

      I appreciate your comments. BUT – first of all, there is no clear proof of health risks with either 4G or 5G. I say this while being fully aware of the few videos and articles that declare to the contrary. As tech journalist Dave Johnson points out, “The FCC defers to the FDA for actual health risk assessments, which takes a direct, but low-key approach to addressing the risks: ‘The weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems.'” See https://www.howtogeek.com/423720/how-worried-should-you-be-about-the-health-risks-of-5g/

      The easiest short answer to the health “issues” is that you receive more radiation from exposure to sunlight than you do 4G or 5G use. Since 5G, due to the millimeter wavelengths it produces, cannot penetrate human skin, there is even less danger to humans than with other wavelengths used. This is consistent with the difficulties of 5G penetrating buildings.

      Second, I had to do a bit of additional research on LiFi and its correlation to 5G. LiFi has its advantages as well as disadvantages, but I come away with the definite impression that we are looking at an “apples to oranges” comparison of the two.

      I addressed this in my post, “Does 5G Technology Work?” (https://5g-cell-phones.com/does-5g-technology-work/), The two are not competing answers to the problem. In fact, LiFi is simply the use of light to transmit information. Since LiFi has its limitations as well, such as not being able to go through physical objects, other sources of light interfering with the LiFi signal and the need for an entirely new and different infrastructure, its main value is to use microfiber cables for 5G transmission. According to Telecom, “O2 no doubt partially sees LiFi as one potential tool for overcoming the indoors problem for high frequency 5G.”
      See https://www.telecomtv.com/content/short-range-wireless/lifi-has-been-an-up-and-coming-technology-for-several-years-now-will-5g-be-its-spur-32230/

      This is one of the “work-around” solutions in my post mentioned above. The two will work together to overcome some of the hurdles experienced currently by 5G. They will work together, not in opposition. It isn’t a matter of “either/or” but of “one (5G) or both”.

      5G is the technology. LiFi is a potential conduit for transmitting the technology in some circumstances. I say this because, at least as I read your comments, I got the impression, perhaps mistakenly so, that you were suggesting LiFi to be utilized instead of 5G rather than in tandem with it. As Derek McManus, Chief Operations Officer at O2 in Scotland commented, “Our LiFi trial shows how you can deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in new ways and is another example of how we’re future-proofing our network as we pave the way for 5G in the UK.” See https://www.telecomtv.com/content/mobile/o2-uses-light-to-transmit-data-in-latest-network-trial-32028/

      Reply
  6. 1

    jessetoikkanen

    Great and informative article about 5G. I tested my 5G and speedtester that gives only 50-65mbps and upload of 3-4mbps gives my current 5G setup download speed of 1200-1320 Mbps and upload of 130-145Mbps. I love this. But regarding info of our local IPS owned a couple of my friends said it may take up to 8 months to have even 80% 5G coverage here in Finland. However, it’s much more than in some other countries. Some of my gaming friends live in 3rd world countries and they said there is no 5G even available within 500km from their homes :/ However, thanks for a good article, I will take a further look at your website and its other articles as well. 

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Thanks for your real-life input. The worldwide rollout will certainly take a few years and 100 percent coverage may not ever be, but that is true of 4G even now. Lots of reasons for that. And even where it is available, high numbers on signal strength will vary, but the point is that it is going to be a huge improvement overall. The companies involved in making this happen all know what they are doing and will benefit just as much as the rest of us. Bring it on!

      Reply
  7. 1

    Jack Stephens

    If “LiFi” was the definitive and superior technology, why in the world is the huge majority of the largest, most tech-savvy companies in the world gearing up for and so heavily invested in 5G instead of LiFi? It is because of what I mentioned in the first response above.

    Reply
  8. 1

    Benson

    Using a 5g phone would be very interesting considering the speed of the phone while browsing. There are little service provider who can operate on 5g. There isn’t much i can say about 5g phones yet, but the rate at which 4g operates and can be efficient, then i can trust that 5g would make lots of sense. Hopefully when i see a good 5g phone I will opt to get one. Best regards

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Thanks for your comments, Benson. Availability is important. I realize some countries are still on 2G or 3G, let alone 5G. So take that into consideration when determining the timing of your purchase. 

      In the meantime, please feel free to explore the rest of my site to see the many other ways 5G is and will be benefitting other areas of our lives. Cell phones are only one use.

      Reply
  9. 1

    Bonnie

    I am afraid that I am a SamSung girl.  I really like the way the samsung works.  Right now I have some off brand and I is a piece of ——.

    The only problem with these new phones is the price is so far outside of my budget even if I sign up for a 2 year program it is still not reachable.  The fact that they think they can charge us this astronomical price for going up to 5g is stupid!!!

    I have been told that when a human astronaut goes out into space that there bones start to decay along with other problems that can arise from leaving the earth.  I think weather we have 3g, 4g, or 5g hanging from our heads we are all starting to feel the results of the technology around us.  The use of computers in everything from our cars to our homes is non stop.  We are constantly being bombarded by EMF waves.

    Yes technology is great but like the Astronaut we have to come back down to earth.  We have to ground ourselves and take care of our bodies.  So if anyone out there is really worried about the results of the 5g, maybe a little bit of self love of self might help.  Get yourself a grounding mat and use it.  Don’t let the future stop you but help yourself and enjoy the future.

    My Soap Box Sorry

    Bonnie Myers

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Hi, Bonnie. I know all this “techie” stuff can seem overwhelming at times, but we end up getting acclimated to it over time. It is the way of things for new technology to start out at a higher price. Remember when flat screen tv first hit the market? And now look how much they have come down.

      You do bring out an interesting point in that, at any given time or place, we are constantly being “bombarded” by all sorts of frequency waves. They pass through us all the time while we go on, totally unaware, unless we have a device that utilizes a particular signal or signals. Radio waves, television waves, radar waves, cell phone waves, ham radio waves and even naturally occurring background radiation and solar radiation. Yet we survive and go on without serious problems. 

      So you may be right. It might be time for those who are becoming overly concerned to do whatever helps them “chill out”. Progress will come, safely, to us all. No need to let it upset us. Adapt and use it as it comes. Thanks so much for your comments.

      Reply
  10. 1

    Andrew

    Hi, thanks for this informative article.

    I think the advancement of mobile technology means things like 5G are essential.  These days my mobile phone is my hub so I use it for everything although I still use the laptop for certain tasks if I need a bigger screen.  The ability to do more and faster on my mobile will be fantastic for me once 5G is running in my area.

    When is the 5G rollout expected to be completed?

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      At last word from any of my sources, an “end date” or completion time is not something that can be predicted. However, most of the U.S. might have 5G coverage by mid-2020. By 2023, there it is estimated that there will be about 840 million 5G cell phones in use worldwide. The numbers only go up from there. Time will tell, but I think the conversion to effective blanket transmission coverage will come sooner than estimates think. We will have to wait and see, but it is inevitably coming.

      Reply
  11. 1

    Rodarrick

    In all honesty, a 5G will always be greater in performance and excellence. When I made use of the 4G, it increased greatly from the slower 3g. Hence, the 5Gwill only be a lot more better than what the others could have been like before. Thumbs up to you for explaining about all this here

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Thank you, Rodarrick. Every week I find more and more information about the spread of 5G technology. It is truly transforming our world!

      Reply
  12. 1

    kouimm

    This is the first post that i read about the 5G and 5G mobile. I can justify any concern about the safety of 5G as we are insecure, from our nature. However we need information like this post to learn and come closer to 5G, in order to minimize these concerns.

     Furthermore , every new invention is like the knife. We can use it to make our lifes easier and better than the past or we can use it to make ”our dirty jobs”.

    I leave in Greece and the 5G technology will come later , ( like 2 yeas i hope) Do you recommend to start buying 5G mobiles in order to learn their properties?

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      In your case, I would recommend waiting. I am in the U.S. where every telecommunications company here is trying to get on board as quickly as they can, sometimes even “stretching the truth” a bit to make it sound like they are fully converted to 5G when they are not. I would watch your news, educate yourself by researching the subject and maybe check with your cell phone company to find out when 5G is expected. If you know it is about 2 years away, I would not jump into it yet. I hope this helps.

      Reply

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