Safaricom Kenya has announced the launch of trials for the trail-blazing 5G technology for its customers. so, out of curiosity I dug into 5G and this is what I found.
What is 5G?
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.
Who invented 5G?
No one company or person owns 5G, but there are several companies within the mobile ecosystem that are contributing to bringing 5G to life. Safaricom Kenya has launched trials for the trail-blazing 5G technology for its customers.
What underlying technologies make up 5G?
5G is based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), a method of modulating a digital signal across several different channels to reduce interference. 5G uses 5G NR air interface alongside OFDM principles. 5G also uses wider bandwidth technologies such as sub-6 GHz and mmWave.
Like 4G LTE, 5G OFDM operates based on the same mobile networking principles. However, the new 5G NR air interface can further enhance OFDM to deliver a much higher degree of flexibility and scalability. This could provide more 5G access to more people and things for a variety of different use cases.
5G will bring wider bandwidths by expanding the usage of spectrum resources, from sub-3 GHz used in 4G to 100 GHz and beyond. 5G can operate in both lower bands (e.g., sub-6 GHz) as well as mmWave (e.g., 24 GHz and up), which will bring extreme capacity, multi-Gbps throughput, and low latency.
5G is designed to not only deliver faster, better mobile broadband services compared to 4G LTE, but can also expand into new service areas such as mission-critical communications and connecting the massive IoT. This is enabled by many new 5G NR air interface design techniques, such as a new self-contained TDD subframe design.
What are the differences between the previous generations of mobile networks and 5G?
The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.
First generation – 1G
1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.
Second generation – 2G
Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA– Code Division Multiple Access).
Third generation – 3G
Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).
Fourth generation – 4G LTE
2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.
1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G all led to 5G, which is designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before.
5G is a unified, more capable air interface. It has been designed with an extended capacity to enable next-generation user experiences, empower new deployment models and deliver new services.
With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem into new realms. 5G will impact every industry, making safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, digitized logistics — and more — a reality.
How is 5G better than 4G?
There are several reasons that 5G will be better than 4G:
• 5G is significantly faster than 4G
• 5G has more capacity than 4G
• 5G has significantly lower latency than 4G
• 5G is a unified platform that is more capable than 4G
• 5G uses spectrum better than 4G
5G is a unified platform that is more capable than 4G.
While 4G LTE focused on delivering much faster mobile broadband services than 3G, 5G is designed to be a unified, more capable platform that not only elevates mobile broadband experiences, but also supports new services such as mission-critical communications and the massive IoT.
5G can also natively support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (low, mid, high), a wide range of deployment models (from traditional macro-cells to hotspots), and new ways to interconnect (such as device-to-device and multi-hop mesh).
5G uses spectrum better than 4G.
5G is also designed to get the most out of every bit of spectrum across a wide array of available spectrum regulatory paradigms and bands—from low bands below 1 GHz, to mid bands from 1 GHz to 6 GHz, to high bands known as millimeter wave (mmWave).
5G is faster than 4G.
5G can be significantly faster than 4G, delivering up to 20 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) peak data rates and 100+ Megabits-per-second (Mbps) average data rates.
5G has more capacity than 4G.
5G is designed to support a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency.1
5G has lower latency than 4G.
5G has significantly lower latency to deliver more instantaneous, real-time access: a 10x decrease in end-to-end latency down to 1ms.
How and when will 5G affect the global economy?
5G is driving global growth.
• $13.1 Trillion dollars of global economic output
• 22.8 Million new jobs created
• $265B global 5G CAPEX and R&D annually over the next 15 years
Through a landmark 5G Economy study, we found that 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035—supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.1 trillion worth of goods and services.
This impact is much greater than previous network generations. The development requirements of the new 5G network are also expanding beyond the traditional mobile networking players to industries such as the automotive industry.
The study also revealed that the 5G value chain (including OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers, and consumers) could alone support up to 22.8 million jobs, or more than one job for every person in Beijing, China. And there are many emerging and new applications that will still be defined in the future. Only time will tell what the full “5G effect” on the economy is going to be.
How will 5G affect me?
5G is designed to do a variety of things that can transform our lives, including giving us faster download speeds, low latency, and more capacity and connectivity for billions of devices—especially in the areas of virtual reality (VR), the IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI).
For example, with 5G, you can access new and improved experiences including near-instant access to cloud services, multiplayer cloud gaming, shopping with augmented reality, and real-time video translation and collaboration, and more.