How 5g Will Fundamentally Change Everything You Know About Mobile Computing

Sunday, March 7, 2021

People often write about how much society and technology has progressed from days of the past. Frequently, this is then followed by speculation about what the future might hold for us all if technology continues its exponential growth. On this subject, this article is about 5G and what the future could be like for us with this technology. If you thought that our lives were interconnected at the moment, 5G offers a completely new level.

What is 5G?

5G is the newest form of wireless data transfer to be rolled out in major geographies. If you have a smartphone you will probably be well aware of 3G and 4G. With the invention of 3G, smartphones were able to be created, 4G made the browsing experience even faster. But do you know what 1G and 2G were? First generation wireless or 1G allowed us to communicate with speech. 2G meant that text could also be communicated.

But what does 5G do? 5G dramatically improves on the download speeds of 4G, with the potential to download one gigabit a second. This is over 10 times the speed most of us are used to. Consider how long it takes to download a movie at the moment, this will now be done in seconds. 

How long until we can all benefit from 5G?

Currently, the two countries that are furthest advanced in rolling out 5G are South Korea and China. However, there are now multiple cities in the United States that have 5G. Although the infrastructure is still not there in these locations to offer the full potential that 5G has to offer. Most people should expect to have 5G service by 2023 though.

How 5g Will Fundamentally Change Everything You Know About Mobile Computing

On first inspection, you might wonder what all the hype around 5G really is about. Improved download speeds will be great, but can they really be revolutionary? To understand the potential of 5G we have to look at it beyond the scope of what 4G enables us to do.

With 5G, technologies such as augmented reality will become integrated into our everyday lives more and more. We could be seeing it everywhere including retail outlets, gyms, entertainment venues, and restaurants. For instance, monitoring of performance with in depth data and real time feedback could be an everyday occurrence at gyms and sporting events. At shops, people could have outfits projected onto them without the need of trying on all the different clothes. And this is all just the start.

Another area that will see exponential growth as a result of 5G is machine automation and bots. To use a manufacturing line as an example, a private 5G network could make it possible for teams of humans and robots to work alongside each other, with the machines assisting in manual and precision based tasks. 

To put this into another context, there are already examples of farms in Japan that tailor their produce depending on the demands of the market. With 5G this can be amplified further. Sensors for humidity, sunlight, soil acidity, and temperature can all feed into a team of robots that help to adjust the environment and train plants in response to their needs. Other industries such as healthcare will also feel the benefits of the new technology. VR could mean some patients can be treated from their own home and increasingly sophisticated robots will assist doctors in more and more complex ways.

What is truly exciting about 5G is what lays just beyond the horizon. All of the benefits mentioned above have already been touched on by the capabilities of 4G. While 5G will make the application of them immeasurably better, there is so much more 5G can offer. Only with the technology released and usable by the armies of developers and designers around the world will we be able to see what innovation can take place.

For 5G to truly be the next industrial revolution that many people suggest it can be, there are also ethical considerations that need to be accounted for. With the increasing capacity of technology, there is an increased risk of privacy and digital security being undermined. Making sure these considerations are accounted for in the years to come are vital to making sure 5G fundamentally changes our lives for the better.