With 5G technology being rolled out around the globe world, we want to take a look at how this will affect mobile devices in the enterprise space.
Due to the complex nature of this topic the blog will be split into 2 parts, the first part will take a look at how 5G compares against older networks, changes to infrastructure and types of devices expected to make the most from 5G. Part 2 will then look at the rollout plan, how the enterprise world will be affected by 5G and finally the future of wireless networks. Subscribe to our blog to receive a notification on when part 2 is available as well as our future technical blogs.
What is 5G
You’ve probably hear of it by now so we’ll keep this short, 5G is the next generation of high speed wireless network connectivity, capable of faster, more reliable speeds for compatible mobile and smart devices. With average download speeds expected to surpass 1GBps the capabilities of smart devices will continue to expand.
4G vs 5G
Let’s start by taking a brief look at how 5G compares to its predecessor, 4G. First introduced as a commercial network back in 2009 4G began a worldwide rollout and is now available in many regions around the world. By comparison 5G has only just begun its first phase of commercial rollouts (2019) and still has some way to go before it meets 4G’s availability. However, many major cities are now 5G ready or have plans in place so it’s just a matter of time before it branches across to smaller areas.
To try and keep this information simple to understand we can look at it like this, 4G’s download and upload speeds have always been somewhere in the Mbps (Megabytes Per second) range depending on the region. This means that on a good 4G connection of 100MBPS you could download a 2 hour movie in around 6 minutes. When we compare that to 5G the same movie could be downloaded in less than 4 seconds on a 10Gbps (Gigabytes per second) connection.
It is important to mention that those are somewhat best case scenario figures for both networks but it gives you an idea of the speed improvements that 5G will offer. To be more factual the operating frequency bands (what limits download/upload speeds) of 4G is up to 6GHz, whereas the radio bands that 5G will be able to handle will be anywhere between 30GHz and 300GHz.
Bandwidth defined the limitation of how much data can be transferred at any one time, it is best looked at as the tunnel that all of the data travels through, the more devices that are transmitting data, the more blocked up the tunnel becomes. The answer? Simply put, a bigger tunnel. And that’s exactly how 5G compares to older networks such as 4G. This might not make that much sense at first as you might be questioning what other devices are using your mobile network, this is very similar to a home/office broadband network .
During the day you may notice that the speeds are faster when compared to the evenings. The answer here is the same, both networks are being restricted by other users sharing the same network lines/cellular towers (that provide the data), the more devices sharing these lines at any one time the slower it will become.
5G hopes to improve this by offering a larger bandwidth (larger tunnel), this should in theory mean that more devices are able to get super fast speeds all of the time.
5G will use multiple input, multiple output antennas (known as MIMO), these antennas contain a large numbers of antenna elements which will allow more data to be sent and received at once (when compared to older infrastructure). The benefit of this is that more devices can simultaneously connect to the network with a strong data connection.
The overall physical size of the 5G antennas will be similar to that of 4G however, as the individual antenna element size is smaller this will allow more elements (100+) in the same physical housing.
5G ready devices such as mobile phones will also have MIMO antenna technology built into the device in order for them to be compatible with the frequencies.
That’s it for part 1, subscribe to our blog to receive a notification once part 2 is available.
In the mean time, check out more on 5G
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