Following the evolution of Edge into 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, we are now witnessing the development of the 5G network. It goes without saying that networks of this sort will continue to develop and advance in the years to come. What’s more, companies face serious competition in the efforts of becoming the first to release such technological advancement.
5G Network: Background
The 5G, or fifth generation network, is an improvement or rather the successor of the currently popular 4G network. The 5G network has become a necessity in today’s world. This is mostly because of an increase in device automation, which relies on wireless networks. For example, home automation requires a fast network that works seamlessly and without buffers. Currently, most companies are using 4G. However, there is always room for improvement, and that is where 5G enters the picture.
The amount of information about the 5G network is still scanty since the technology will not be available to the public until 2020 or 2021. However, there is still some amount of information available. Like any other invention, there are several advantages and disadvantages to the 5G wireless network. They are as follows:
5G Network Pros
1. Uses small-cell technology.
4G networks rely on large towers strategically mounted a few meters apart. In return, this makes sure communication between the towers is efficient. However, 5G networks won’t rely on massive towers but small cell technology for data transmission. Here, the data will be denser and fit in a smaller space, making it comparable to data in 4G networks.
2. Uses high-frequency signals.
Unlike other technologies, 5G will make use of high-frequency signals that travel faster than low-frequency signals from other networks.
3. High-speed internet.
Among other pros, the 5G network will also have a faster connectivity speed. Surely, this will considerably change the speed of mobile internet due to the boost in connectivity speed. In addition, downloading data using 5G is several times faster than using other networks. More precisely, that took you about 10 minutes to download will now only take about one minute via 5G.
4. Minimal latency.
Interestingly, the 5G wireless network has minimal to zero latency. This means that delays due to using other networks to acquire information will be non-existent. With that, video buffs for gamers will be a thing of the past.
5G Network Cons
1. Requires the use of different frequencies.
For a 5G network to work efficiently, it will require the use of different types of frequencies. As a result, the frequencies will then use different carriers. Even more, the use of different kinds of frequencies will ultimately increase the levels of radiation. Therefore, there will be a need for increased EMF protection. For now, tech companies have not yet figured out how to stitch and synchronize the different frequencies together.
2. Short travel distance.
The high-frequency signals used in 5G might be faster than low-frequency signals. However, they can only travel for a short distance. Therefore, 5G will require several antennas, input and output, both spread out at short distances.
3. Multiple access points for story buildings.
Initially, to achieve a stable connection, there will be a need to set up multiple access points in a facility. The number of access points is not as relevant, considering the 5G network speed is the ultimate necessity for connectivity.
4. 5G network is a bit expensive.
Most companies have not yet released the cost of using the 5G network. But, it is safe to say that the more advanced innovations always come with a big price tag. Because of that, the price will likely be higher than that of the 4G network.
5. Limited availability.
At the moment, 5G is not yet available internationally, and it is not available in most parts of the world. In short, the number of access points will also be a defining factor, especially in low population areas. Thereafter, carriers will probably be reluctant to drastically change to 5G in all its customer locations. This is mostly due to the number of infrastructural changes involved in the process.
6. Device compatibility.
Most devices are currently compatible with 4G and 3G networks, with a few still using the 2G network. Therefore, even if 5G enters force today, most devices, if not all, won’t be able to use this network. Moreover, companies will have to manufacture new models, to be compatible with the 5G wireless network and its frequencies.
That said, the power and speed of the 5G network will probably drain most devices’ batteries. The issue will be thereafter mended with manufacturers upgrading the batteries to match the power of the network.
7. Health Issues.
Various studies revealed that 5G will probably increase the levels of radiofrequency radiation in locations near the antennas. For instance, the 2011 IARC RF electromagnetic field research reviewed the radiofrequency effects in human and animal research. In addition, the review confirmed that RF radiation is carcinogenic to humans (Miller, 2018). Basically, 5G as a rich source of radiofrequency radiation can pose harmful effects to humans, animals, and the environment.
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Conclusion: Living with 5G network.
To humans, RF radiation can cause various health-related concerns. Such can include disruption of cell metabolism, increased blood-brain permeability, melatonin reduction, generation of stress proteins, and more.
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Due to this, the 5G network will ultimately revolutionalize the connectivity and networking world as we know it. So far, the international telecommunication union has not yet released the network for worldwide public use. However, it certainly promises a massive upgrade from current wireless networks.