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5G TECHNOLOGY: PROS & CONS

Author: Rajamathangi





Technology is said to be the practical use of knowledge to enhance the accomplishment of the desired end. It is rapidly evolving and is changing the social process. Modern technology has changed our lives in innumerable ways. Technology has changed our way of life in almost every aspect including communication, education, entertainment, health, interpersonal relationships, financial transactions, etc. With the recent increase in the need for sustaining in a contactless world, trends in technology are changing. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, robotics, computing, VR & AR, Internet of things, cybersecurity, 5G, etc are some of the emerging trends in technology.


WHAT IS 5G?


5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology. It is the latest upgrade in the LTE broadband network. It is developed to increase speed, improve the flexibility of wireless services, and reduce latency(the time a device takes to communicate with the network).


The first generation of the network only allowed voice calls while the second generation also allowed text messages to be sent. The third generation of cellular networks allowed web browsing alongside and the fourth generation was an improved version of it. Now, the fifth generation will have a faster speed and will reduce latency between 1-10 milliseconds.


HOW DOES 5G WORK?


All 5G networks mainly function on three spectrum bands.

  • The low-band spectrum has been proven to have great coverage and works fast even in underground conditions. The maximum speed limit on this band is 100 Mbps.

  • In the mid-band spectrum, the speeds are higher but, telecoms across the world have registered limitations when it comes to the coverage area and penetration of telephone signals into buildings.

  • The high-band spectrum offers the highest speed but has extremely limited network coverage area and penetration capabilities.


5G IN USAGE AROUND THE WORLD


As of November 2020, around 146 mobile operators have launched 5G services commercially. In North America, 5G is available in some locations. Verizon was one of the first 5G carriers in the US. Deutsche Telekom started 5G services in Berlin, Munich, Bonn, Cologne, etc in September 2019. EE, Vodafone, and O2 have been deploying 5G services in the UK since mid-2019. Even smaller countries like Sweden, Turkey, and Estonia have taken significant steps to make 5G networks commercially available to their citizens.


5G IN INDIA


Both telecom service providers and equipment vendors in India have completed lab trials of the 5G network but are yet to commence field trials as scheduled as they are awaiting the allocation of test spectrum from the Department of Telecom (DoT). Reliance Jio is one of the first companies to be offering 5G services in India. Google has invested around Rs. 33,737crs to support Jio’s upgrade. Jio has designed its 5G solutions and is planning to become an exporter of 5G systems shortly. Other companies like Airtel and Vodafone Idea are planning on working with Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, and Nokia to conduct trials. The TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has recommended that spectrum be made available for 5G services in the 3300 to 3400 MHz and 3425 to 3600 MHz bands. The auction for these has been planned to be conducted next year by the government. Full-fledged services are only expected by 2022 in India.


PROS OF 5G TECHNOLOGY


Increased speed: As the bandwidth is high there will be more no. of users and they will be able to use their devices in a more versatile manner as the devices will work faster as more network is dedicated to an individual device.

  • Less congestion: People won’t be competing for cell phone network for performing day to day activities due to higher bandwidth. Today’s 4G towers function slowly once it reaches its capacity. This won’t be the case with a 5G network as the bandwidth is higher.

  • Low latency: Due to this, apps and services will work identically as the time taken for the device to respond to commands becomes less.

  • Availability of new technology options: As the network has been upgraded, there will be newer devices available to do tasks that were usually done physically and with innovative applications that haven’t been developed yet can be done so.

  • Uninterrupted and uniform consistency of connectivity throughout the world.


CONS OF 5G TECHNOLOGY


Security: Cybersecurity issues might arise as the number of devices connected to a network will increase.

  • Uneven coverage: In the initial period many areas won’t have even coverage of the 5G network as

  • Line of sight: As the high frequency might be blocked by common objects, enterprises might have to redesign some facilities to extend coverage.

  • Hype-factor: Enterprises will have to take time to understand the exact working of this model as they might have incorporated 5G in their operations before understanding it.

  • New devices might be needed as the old ones might become obsolete. So, it is an expensive deal.


5G is said to be the backbone of emerging technological developments. It is one of the most sophisticated technologies developed and will revolutionize wireless technology.


REFERENCES


i. https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/markets/digital-identity-and-security/mobile/inspired/5G

ii. https://www.kioskmarketplace.com/blogs/the-pros-and-cons-of-5g/

iii. https://www.verizon.com/about/news-tag/5g-technology

iv. https://www.civilsdaily.com/news/trending-in-news-5g-technology/

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