Why 5G may be both faster and slower than the previous wireless generation

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Why 5G may be both faster and slower than the previous wireless generation

Postby Winks » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:05 am

“FASTER, higher, stronger,” goes the Olympic motto. So it is only appropriate that the next generation of wireless technology, “5G” for short, should get its first showcase at the Winter Olympics under way in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Once fully developed, it is supposed to offer download speeds of at least 20 gigabits per second (4G manages about half that at best) and response times (“latency”) of below 1 millisecond. So the new networks will be able to transfer a high-resolution movie in two seconds and respond to requests in less than a hundredth of the time it takes to blink an eye. But 5G is not just about faster and swifter wireless connections.

The technology is meant to enable all sorts of new services. One such would offer virtual- or augmented-reality experiences. At the Olympics, for example, many contestants are being followed by 360-degree video cameras. At special venues sports fans can don virtual-reality goggles to put themselves right into the action. But 5G is also supposed to become the connective tissue for the internet of things, to link anything from smartphones to wireless sensors and industrial robots to self-driving cars. This will be made possible by a technique called “network slicing”, which allows operators quickly to create bespoke networks that give each set of devices exactly the connectivity they need.

It disappointed until it found its “killer application” with the smartphone, later that decade. And it was only with 4G that mobile networks actually lived up to the promises of 3G, such as being able to watch video streams. To really get 5G, people may have to wait for 6G.

Source: https://www.economist.com/blogs/economi ... explains-8

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