“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - Alan Kay
o we’ve all heard the news that 5G is just round the corner. And it’s just a matter of time before all ivy-league mobile manufacturers’ start producing 5G-compatible phones. With the onset of this technology, we are ushering in a whole new era. 5G phones will make 3G and 4G completely obsolete. OnePlus has already launched a 5G compatible phone, and very soon all other companies will follow suit. The question that naturally follows then is: “Can we keep up with the pace of this rapidly advancing piece of technology?” And frankly, the answer is still ambiguous.
To begin with, let’s start at the very elementary level. First there was 2G, a set of standards governing wireless telephone calls. The mobile web did not yet exist. Then 3G arrived, making it possible to surf the internet on a smartphone. 4G delivered speeds that enabled video streaming and an entire economy of apps that need sustained, reliable connectivity.And now we have 5G. 5G means 5th Generation. Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. With 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps by some estimates exceeding wireline network speeds -- as well as offer latency of 1 ms or lower for uses that require real-time feedback. 5G will also enable a sharp increase in the amount of data transmitted over wireless systems due to more available bandwidth and advanced antenna technology.
Now coming to the perks of 5G technology. First of all, let me just state this fact: humans can’t live without the internet. Period. And this is why we keep coming up with new technologies to make our lives better, easier and more connected. The 5G network comes with a lot of new features. Visualize smart glasses with artificial intelligence coded into them. Or think of mobile virtual reality, much higher quality video, and the internet of things making cities smarter. All this is possible with the upcoming 5G technology. Imagine swarms of drones co-operating to carry out search and rescue missions, fire assessments and traffic monitoring, all communicating wirelessly with each other and ground base stations over 5G networks.Similarly, many think 5G will be crucial for autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read live map and traffic data.
5G compatible cars can be a revolutionary piece of technology.
5G is our ticket to a future where fast is the new ‘it’. The fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45Mbps (megabits per second) on average, although the industry is still hopeful of achieving 1Gbps (gigabit per second = 1,000Mbps). Chipmaker Qualcomm reckons 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds about 10 to 20 times faster in real-world (as opposed to laboratory) conditions.
A brief overview of the various advantages that 5G technology has to offer.
All said and done, the fact that we need 5G and are ready to welcome it with open arms, speaks volumes about how we constantly feel the need to re-invent. Internet service providers, currently operating on 4G, are providing speeds up to 200 Mbps, which frankly is more than the average need of a consumer. So basically, we have what we need. Yes, 5G will provide bigger benefits. Improved latency, zero-lag gaming experience, multi-video calling support and better GPS tracking are few of the many advantages that this technology has to offer. But then again, there are more pressing issues at hand to be dealt with. Instead of spending billions of dollars to just upgrade an existing technology, this money can be well-spent on coming up with something new. I admit, that’s easier said than done, but being a 4G user, I can satisfactorily state that 4G is all I want. Yes, mankind keeps up inventing stuff, and it’s day after day of new inventions. But until and unless, something worthwhile comes our way, we should be happy with what we have.