Deepak Syal, Director and Co-founder, GreyB

Can you imagine there was a time wh­en you could not even send a text through your phone? Today, the wo­r­ld has been introduced to 5G networks, promising to accelerate cellular data transfer speeds from 100 Mbps to a peak rate of 20 Gbps – a breakthrough that represents very high internet speeds.

The telecom industry has grown in the past too, but what makes 5G a breakthr­ough technology?

This jump from 4G to 5G is significant because 4G was an upgrade in speed, but 5G is going to have a massive impact on our lifestyle and everything around us. We all know how the birth of the internet changed the world for good. Now, we will see how faster network connections such as 5G can be life changing for us.

Towards safer roads

One of the major roadblocks in making au­tonomous vehicles a reality is internet speed. Long term evolution/4G systems are not reliable for providing zero/negligible lag while transferring data and that can cause accidents, unreliable vehicle access, etc. This challenge is now getting resolved with the introduction of 5G.

The incredible speed and responsiveness of driverless vehicles deployed with 5G will change the way we think about co­m­muting and transportation today. Syste­ms on the 5G network can store, process, tra­nsmit and analyse gigabytes worth of au­tonomous vehicle data. The process wo­uld be so reliable that you can let the vehicle take charge as you relax and enjoy the ride.

Not just smart, but also energy-saving cities and factories

Smart cities and factories powered by internet of things are becoming a reality. The main challenge here is to provide a network connection to 1 million devices per square kilometre. The 5G network is the knight in shining armour for these smart cities/factories. It can increase the number of user connections by five times.

Additionally, the 5G network is far mo­re efficient in energy consumption than the previous networks. It is designed to put base stations in a sleep state when there is no traffic and consume almost nil energy.

Almost real virtual communications

The 5G network will provide services such as high-definition video, virtual reality and augmented reality, thanks to the 100 Mbps user-perceived data rate and more than three times spectrum efficiency.

Today’s networks do not offer precise real-time communications. But with 5G, one may never have to say “Am I audible?” or “Is my screen visible?” during a virtual meeting. 5G provides low latency and high network capacity, which delivers a near-real-time experience.

In simple words, one will be able to consult the world’s best doctors from the comfort of one’s home. And the lag time will be so minuscule that doctors can use robots to operate on a patient from even 1,000 miles away.

Search results at warp speed

Remember how Jarvis ran simulations on every known element on the planet to find a viable replacement for the palladium core in Iron Man’s chest? It took him wh­at, the blink of an eye? Even pages to­day take minutes to load on the 4G network. With the extremely high frequencies of 5G, what was once fiction could become reality. Higher frequencies support fast data and have negligible interference from nearby users.

Up, up and away with 5G

5G has brought along an option to stay connected even in the air. The technology is also capable of recovering from a cyberattack in less than a second, preventing any disruptions in operations and failure. Connectivity will be critical for drones, and with 5G ultra-wideband comes a new era in aviation.

During our study of 5G standards, we observed that for every 4G technology pa­tent declared as a standard, there are more than 10 patents declared in the 5G standard. And this was when 5G development had just started in 2017. This suggests that all the big companies are investing heavily in this technology and hence, it is likely to stay with us for far longer periods than 4G ever was.

So far, 5G has been deployed in 1,336 cities in 61 countries and counting. It is hard to predict when the 5G network will be accessible to all, but the future with 5G would surely be worthwhile.