5G (5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems) also known as Tactile Internet denotes the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G standards.
The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance defined 5G network requirements as:
– Data rates of several tens of Mb/s should be supported for tens of thousands of users.
– 1 Gbit/s to be offered, simultaneously to tens of workers on the same office floor.
– Up to Several 100,000’s simultaneous connections to be supported for massive sensor deployments.
– Spectral efficiency should be significantly enhanced compared to 4G.
– Coverage should be improved
– Signaling efficiency enhanced.
A team of researchers has developed a 5G data connection that is 65,000 times faster than current 4G technology.
The astonishing speed reached one terabit (125 gigabytes) per second – the equivalent of downloading about 30 movies in a single second.
The team built their own transmitters and receivers, and then performed tests over a distance of 110 metres.
The team wants to begin testing their technology in public spaces by 2018, while a British release of 5G has been hinted at in 2020 by Ofcom.
[divider]What Will It Cost?[/divider]
It’s impossible to know yet how 5G technology will affect mobile phone and data rates, but South Korea’s Minister of Engineering, Science and Technology estimates that private companies will spend over £300 billion in 5G infrastructure and technology over the coming decade to take 5G worldwide, and competition will be fierce. Data prices have continuously fallen over the past decade, from about 46 pence per megabyte in 2008 to between 2 and 3 pence currently. Industry watchers say that a successful 5G network would provide 50 gigabytes of data per person per month. In addition, 5G networks would allow users to access the Internet even while traveling at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour, almost double current capabilities.
While the specifics are unclear, the 5G concept is mind-boggling and complex. Once implemented worldwide, mobile industry experts say the network will have space for over 7 trillion connected devices in the coming decade—and each individual will have at least 10 connections, including smartphones, tablets and smart appliances. The 2G network focused on voice, 3G on data, and 4G on video; the new 5G network will be all about connections.
This isn’t just about films, is it? Nope. David Cameron says he wants the UK to be the most digital nation in the G8 (Group of Eight), and this is simply a step towards achieving that.
What did he say exactly? “Countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations”.
One of the main benefits of 5G technology over 4G will not be its speed of delivery – which admittedly could be between 10Gbps and 100Gbps – but the latency. At present, 4G is capable of between 40ms and 60ms, which is low-latency but not enough to provide real-time response. Multiplayer gaming, for example, requires a lower latency than that to ensure that when you hit a button, the remote server responds instantly.
“If we get 5G right, there won’t be a 6G,” said Professor Sutton during Pocket-lint’s lesson on the technology.
The idea is that if the correct infrastructure is put in place, unlike when 1G, 2G and 3G were devised, it will be based on a flexible system that can be upgraded rather than requiring replacement. In years past, mobile data technologies were built around hardware, while 5G will be software driven. Software can be updated easily, hardware less so.
The future is bright. And lightning fast.