2G allowed society to send text and picture messages. 3G connected us to the internet from wherever we were standing. 4G made streaming and sharing information easier than ever.
5G is the fifth and latest generation of mobile network technology that has the power to make our lives easier, safer and more efficient.
This innovation in telecommunication provides a foundation for an incredibly exciting future of technological advancement. With the 3G network being decommissioned in 2024, it’s worth being prepared and understanding the powerful impact 5G will have on our everyday lives.
So what’s the difference: 4G vs 5G
5G is a big step up from 4G. Improved latency rates, network slicing and faster download speeds have a lot of implications for how our world could change and grow in the years to come.
5G is faster
5G is touted to be up to 100x faster than the 4G network. To put that into perspective, that means that if you’re hoping to download a high-definition film using 4G, it would take 50 minutes on average. But if you were to download that same film on 5G, it would take just nine minutes.
5G is more intuitive and reactive than any of its preceding networks. The 5G network is broken up into five major categories or “slices” - speed, capacity, coverage, encryption and security. The network can reassign digital resources from one ‘slice’ to another, based on which slice needs it the most. This means that individuals, homes and businesses can personalise the way their network operates to accommodate for their specific internet needs.
Latency is the delay between sending and receiving information. For 4G, the time it takes to send and receive data is 200 milliseconds. This is pretty good, considering humans take 250 milliseconds to react to a visual stimulus. However, with the way 5G works, it now means that latency rates are expected to be lowered to just one millisecond.
Benefits of 5G
The 5G network is a really important innovation for our modern world. As our world looks to connect more devices to the Internet, establish complex technologies like driverless cars and remote surgical operations, the 5G network provides a solid foundation from which society’s capability to build the technology of the future can increase.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT refers to the billions of technological devices around the world that are connected to the Internet, collecting and sharing data in real-time. Their connection to the internet means these devices can interact with other devices, forming links that were previously impossible. Lightbulbs that can be turned on with a smartphone app, smart watches that can send your heart rate to your doctor in real-time - we’ve already started to see the positive impacts that IoT affords our society. The 5G network makes even more complex IoT innovations, like driverless cars, possible.
The 5G network will see a rise in the number of smart cities around the world. These are cities that implement IoT technologies using the 5G network to create environments filled with connected devices that can receive, analyse and manage data in real-time in order to help solve problems caused by urbanisation. Communities can improve their energy efficiency, streamline trash collection, decrease traffic congestion, and even manage their water systems.
Amsterdam is a global city that is leading the way in adoption of these smart technologies. They’ve already integrated their traffic and transportation data in order to help improve their city’s transport systems. The introduction of 5G will help drive their efforts even further over the coming years.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
We are yet to see the real dawn of virtual or augmented reality, and that’s largely because we are being constrained by slow latency. 5G solves this problem and thus opens up the incredible potential growth of AR and VR experiences to improve our everyday lives.
Currently many VR and AR headsets require powerful PC’s to run them, which means a user's ability to enjoy virtual technology is restricted to a certain geographical location. 5G opens up the possibility of connecting with the virtual world while mobile and brings with it the next era of immersive and cloud-connected experiences.
Is 5G safe?
A lot of misinformation has been spread about the latest telecommunication network, which has led many people to wonder if 5G is dangerous. Everything from “5G caused coronavirus” to “5G is killing birds'' has been hotly debated on social media and internet forums globally. Majority of these claims are false and have little basis in fact.
Over the last half a century, there have been concerns that these networks - 2G, 3G, 4G and Wireless Internet - have been discretely generating carcinogenic radiation. However, of the hundreds of studies done over the last 50 years, nothing has ever been proven.
How do I get 5G?
5G is currently being rolled out across Australia and coverage is presently limited, with initial rollout of 5G limited to those located in capital cities and adjacent suburbs. Telstra has been the first-adopter of the 5G network and currently has the largest coverage across Australia.
If you’re in a location that has 5G coverage, that doesn’t mean you automatically get access to the network. You’ll need to make sure that your device is compatible with the 5G network, and if not you’ll need to upgrade to a device that is. If you’re an Apple user, the iPhone 12 range is the first phone that supports the 5G network.
Getting ready for the 5G revolution? Cashrewards have everything you need to get connected. Visit the mobile and smartphone section of our website for more information.