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5G: What Will It Look Like for the Average Consumer?

5G is the 5th generation mobile network. In recent years, as 5G has developed, there has been plenty of discussion and controversy over the topic. We’ll look under the hood of 5G, what makes it different, affordability, economic impact, and how it might impact everyday users. 

What is 5G?

The 5G mobile networks around the corner are said to have ultra-low latency, increased availability, reliability, and prove to be widely applicable. 

Latency can be defined as the time delay between the cause and the effect of some physical change in the system being observed. According to Digital Trends, 4G is generally between 10 Mbps and 50 Mbps. With 5G, 50 Mbps is the target for the minimum average speed.

For reference, Netflix only requires 5 Mbps to stream HD quality video, and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality. On the high-end of 5G, speeds could be as high as an astounding 20 Gbps.

At the high-end speed of 5G, 20 Gbps will allow for speedy downloads of massive data packs. To accommodate such large amounts of data, 5G’s utilizes millimeter-wave (MM wave) frequencies. 

Ted Rappaport, founding director of NYU Wireless, said “mobile data traffic is projected to rise 53% each year into the “foreseeable future,” and over the last 40 years, computer clock speeds and memory sizes rose by as much as six orders of magnitude.”

5G and Average Consumers

MM wave and 5G isn’t necessarily new but it is now more applicable than it was just a few years ago. Very few devices were able to receive MM waves. Now, it’s common and will continue to become applicable to a wide range of phones, devices, and sensors.

Let’s look at how 5G impacts our phones. For starters, 5G will not yet be replacing 4G networks. Although, Verizon said their 5G network will be 200 times faster than their current 4G LTE network. As of 2019, average customers in the US will pay $18 more when switching from 4G to 5G. However, as 5G gets more popular, we can expect more affordability. 

While 5G is commonly associated with phones, it will impact much more. IoT (Internet of Things) is an interconnected network of sensors and devices such as smart cameras, traffic lights, and door locks.

IoT devices are everywhere and many of them are being outfitted with 5G capabilities. This will allow users to use devices without setting up a Wifi network, expanding possibilities greatly. 

Economic Impact and Controversy

As you may have considered, 5G and IoT provide an opportunity for massive data collection. This has led to privacy concerns, so much so that Huawei’s 5G efforts have been banned in several countries. 5G conspiracy theories are abundant. Regardless, 5G’s economic impact will be massive. 

A recent Qualcomm study found that by 2035, 5G will be “supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services.” Adding that “the study also revealed that the 5G value chain (including OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers, and consumers) could alone support up to 22.3 million jobs.”

5G is the future, and we can be confident that its impact will be felt by consumers for years to come.

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This entry was posted on June 30th, 2020 and is filed under Uncategorized. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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