The acronym 5G stands for Fifth Generation. It is the upcoming fastest wireless broadband technology based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard.
5G will provide better speeds and coverage than the current 3G and 4G which Zimbabwe and the rest of the globe have been using since 2010. The fifth generation broadband technology will come with fierce speeds of up to 20 Gigabits-per-second on downloads at a very lower latency.
It operates with a 5Ghz signal and is set to offer speeds of up to 1 Gb/s for tens of connections or tens of Mb/s for tens of thousands of connections. Huawei, a major player in the Chinese mobile market, believes 5G will provide speeds hundred times faster than 4G LTE offers. 5G also increases network expandability up to hundreds of thousands of connections.
The signal of 5G technology has also been improved for greater coverage as well as spectral and signaling efficiency. These improvements stand to further enable changes like pervasive computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Although 5G is not scheduled for launch until 2020, some manufacturers are already incorporating elements of the coming standard’s specifications into their products. However, the arrival of the much anticipated champion of all Internet technologies may come earlier than 2020 as the likes of MTN in South Africa have already initiated successful trials of the technology.
Previous generations like 3G were a breakthrough in communications. 3G receives a signal from the nearest phone tower and is used for phone calls, messaging and data.
4G works the same as 3G but with a faster internet connection and a lower latency (the time between cause and effect).
However, a complete change in the game will see 5G Wi-Fi connections set to be about three times faster than 4G, starting with 450Mbps in single-stream, 900 Mbps (dual- stream) and 1.3G bps (three-stream). So, whilst we are already starting to see a huge growth in IoT and smart devices, 5G speeds and capacity will enable an even more rapid arrival of this connected future.
5G will be significantly faster than 4G, allowing for higher productivity across all capable devices with a theoretical download speed of 10,000 Mbps. Plus, with greater bandwidth comes faster download speeds and the ability to run more complex mobile internet apps.
However, 5G will cost more to implement and while the newest mobile phones will probably have it integrated, other handsets could be deemed out of date.
A reliable, wireless internet connection can depend on the number of devices connected to one channel. With the addition of 5G to the wireless spectrum, this could put us at risk of overcrowding the frequency range.