2019 marks the beginning of the 5G era. Internet users around the world already know of the benefits that 4G offered over 3G and how download and upload speeds have changed as users switched to the 4G network. 5G is expected to be a significant development over 4G and shall bring some major benefits for the users apart from improved speed. 5G will also mark the next era of connectivity and the beginning of a highly connected and intelligent world where sharing and transfer of information will be a lot easier. Huawei is currently leading the 5G game. It has already acquired a very large number of patents and has partnered with several firms globally for faster deployment.
Growth of 5G will also mark higher efficiency and increased productivity for the technology enterprises around the world. It is being said that 5G will enable such transfer speeds that the users will find themselves inundated in oceans of data. Moreover, several of the benefits of cloud computing can be fully realized only with faster connections. While 5G is a promising technology, there are some hurdles to its large scale deployment but companies like Huawei are working to overcome these hurdles by striking partnerships with other technology players and telecom carriers. Huawei had started researching 5G more than ten years ago and now it has declared 2,570 5G essential patent families to ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). (Huawei Annual Report, 2018)
What will be the main advantages of 5G?
Speed, faster than imagination :-
Speed is the core promise of 5G and while users currently have to wait a lot while downloading or uploading large files, it is being said that 5G will enable transfer speeds 10 to 100 times higher than 4G. As per Huawei’s research, percentage of homes having access to 5G in areas covered by 5G will be at least 58% by 2025. Moreover, with large scale deployment, the users will be connected all the time. 5G will not just take connectivity into the next era, but will turn it into a platform.
Round the clock connectivity :-
With the expansion of 5G, round the clock connectivity will be the new norm. 5G technology will redefine both performance and connection. It will change the way devices have been connecting. Devices will be online all the time and that will make them smarter and more productive. This will allow the devices to understand usage and consumption patterns better and thus they will be more efficient at anticipating needs and serving the users. Several phone makers are already engaged in the battle to make their smartphones 5G ready. This battle had begun in 2018 only and the war will continue to intensify with time given the huge promises of 5G. As a game changing technology, 5G holds a strong promise for the early entrants.
Overcoming barriers of time and space :-
Despite 4G, there has remained a large gap between the digital and physical worlds which often spoils user experience. 5G will allow providers to deliver improved user experiences. So, time and space will not remain barriers and 5G will help fill the gaps and converge digital and physical worlds which will enable the transformation of user experience. Improved user experience will mean higher user engagement which will be beneficial for both the providers and the consumers. In this way, 5G is poised to bring a real game changing transformation in both the digital and the real worlds.
Creation of new experiences and services:-
5G is going to make the creation of an entirely new range of services possible. While the last decade has seen the release of several new class of services which are delivered entirely online, with the arrival of 5G a lot is expected to change. It might still be too early to predict how much things will change with 5G, still one thing is certain that higher speed could make many new services possible while taking existing services to the next level. Major players like Huawei are investing very large sums in 5G for the reason that it holds immense promise. 5G could make it easier to access the services of your choice anywhere around the world with a single click. A single digital id could enable a user to remain active on the go and wherever he goes around the world, his content and services will follow and that too can be made possible through a single digital id. In this way, 5G will make higher personalization possible and also allow for more intelligent and convenient user experience. Given all this, one can image how it could give rise to a new range of services based entirely on cloud and online resources.
Overcoming computing bottlenecks :-
The world of technology is advancing fast and the needs of the individual users and enterprises demand edge computing. The needs of enterprises especially have grown very fast in the last few years. There is a large volume of data being generated managing which requires the deployment of faster resources. Even cloud computing has got limits and 4G cannot afford to meet all the growing requirements. Moreover, AI and IoT devices and the growing connectivity needs , enterprises as well as consumers will need higher bandwidth as well as support for a large number of devices on the network plus more security for the protection and management of data. Security, speed and scale are imperative for the next generation of services. The explosion of IoT devices will also lead to a higher number of devices near one another. However, 4G cannot handle this level of connection density. While 4G can support only 2000 active devices per square kilometer, 5G can support upto 100,000 and with time this limit is expected to be above 1 million. The number of autonomous cars is also expected to increase fast and several critical decisions will need to be made within a fraction of a second. This will require edge computing which will require 5G support.
|4G versus 5G|
|Average Data Rate||25 Mb/s||100 Mb/s|
|Peak Data Rate||150 Mb/s||10,000 Mb/s|
|Latency||50 ms||1 ms|
|Connection Density||2,000 km2||100,000 km2|
Huawei had been leading the 5G game . However, the company missed to respond to the warning signals from the American market and government. Its smartphone business is now deeply hurt and this is a sign that its 5G advance is also going to be halted as pressure from Trump government creeps up. There are other notable players in the field too including Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm. Huawei’s dominance is now strongly challenged and apart from America, the Trump government is doing its best to stop its advance in Europe too. Declining smartphone business due to the Android ban will certainly affect its profits. The company will find it difficult to regain its position in the smartphone market which it has dominated for several consecutive years. However, if one arm of the business fails, Huawei cannot retain its hold with another. Huawei’s dominance is failing but 5G will arrive and change your user experience like you had not imagined earlier.