• The transition between 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G was very well received by the consumers. The difference each transition made in the speed was palpable. With the eagerly awaited emergence of 5G, the world of wireless broadband is on the cusp of another revolutionary period.

  • The 5G technology has been in the making for nearly a decade. 5G technology is not only expected to elevate the interconnection between people but also interconnect and control machines, objects and devices.

what is 5G

    WHAT IS 5G?

  • 5G explained in simple terms is the wireless broadband that represents the fifth generation of mobile cellular networks. The previous generation of networks addressed consumers predominantly for voice in 2G, web browsing in 3G, and higher-speed data and video streaming in 4G. The transition to the 5G network will cater to both customers and multiple industries.

  • Mobile Traffic is expected to grow seven times by 2022 globally. New applications such as 4K and 8K video streaming, augmented reality, game streaming services such as Google Stadia and emerging industrial use cases will also demand high bandwidth, greater capacity, security, and lower latency. Equipped with these, 5G will bring newer and larger opportunities for users, businesses and industries.

    • The new capabilities of 5G technology will be transforming industries. Some of these capabilities include:

    • The ability to stream and download a feature length ultra HD movie in seconds

    • The low latency to enable quick reaction times for applications in remote robotics

    • The ability to create virtual networks using network slicing on demand

    • Long battery lifetimes for remote devices

      5G use cases can be categorized into three main types of connected services:

    • Enhanced mobile broadband - 5G internet will not only make smartphones better, but it will also enable users to experience new immersive technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, data rates that are uniform and faster, low latency, and smaller cost-per-bit.

    • Mission-Critical communications – The 5G infrastructure will enable services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, low latency links—such as remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, robots, and medical procedures.

    • Massive Internet of Things – 5G wireless technology will seamlessly connect an enormous number of embedded sensors, subsequently making IoT more scalable and secure.

    • The first substantial deployments of 5G were in April 2019. In South Korea, 38,000 base stations were claimed by SK Telecom, 30,000 by KT Corporation and 18,000 of which 85% are in six major cities. They are utilizing 3.5 GHz (sub-6) spectrum in non-standalone (NSA) mode and the speeds tested ranged from 193 to 430 Mbit/s down.

      Verizon, in the US, opened their service on a very limited number of base stations in Chicago and Minneapolis utilizing 400 MHz of 28 GHz (mm Wave) spectrum in NSA mode. In May, download speeds in Chicago ranged from 80 to 900 Mbit/s. Upload speeds varied from 12 to 57 Mbit/s. The round-trip delay time was 25 milliseconds. In the May of 2019, it was reported that Verizon's 5G service would regularly hit 1 Gbit/s in some locations.

    5G vs 4G

  • 5G uses the rarely used radio millimetre bands in the 30 GHz to 300 GHz range. Current 4G networks operate on frequencies below 6GHz. Testing of 5G range in mm Wave has produced results approximately 500 meters from the tower. Using small cells, carriers using millimetre wave for the deployment of 5G can improve overall coverage area. With Beamforming, small cells can boost coverage with low latency.

  • Low latency is one of 5G’s most important features. This makes the technology suitable for applications that require rapid responsiveness. To reduce response times, 5G uses a scalable orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) framework. 5G benefits greatly from this and can have latency as low as one millisecond with realistic estimates to be around 1-10 milli seconds. 5G is estimated to be 60 to 120 times faster than the average 4G latency.

  • With speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, 5G is set to be as much as 10 times faster than 4G networks.


  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an agency at the United Nations that specializes in the development of technical standards for communication technologies, and it sets the rules for radio spectrum usage and telecommunications interoperability. The “IMT for 2020 and beyond” (IMT-2020) program was created in 2012 by the ITU in order to establish minimum requirements for 5G.

    • The standards set by 3GPP closely correspond with IMT-2020. Some of the key points for the 5G definition are:

    • Peak data rate – 5G will offer very fast data speeds. Theoretically, data rates can hit 20 Gbps downlink and 10 Gbps uplink.

    • Real-world speeds – While the theoretical rates are very impressive, real-world 5G internet speed will not be the same. The specification calls for user download speeds of 100Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps.

    • Latency – Latency should be at 4 milliseconds in ideal circumstances and at one millisecond for Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC).

    • Efficiency - Ideally, a radio should be able to switch into a low-energy state within 10 milliseconds when no longer in use.

    • Spectral efficiency - 5G should have a slightly improved spectral efficiency over 4G, coming at around 30bits/Hz uplink and 15bits/Hz downlink.

    • Mobility - With 5G cellular networks, base stations should support movement from 0 to 310 mph. This means the base station should work across a range of antenna movements — even on a high-speed train.

    • Connection density - 5G should be able to support many more connected devices than 4G. The standard states that the 5G network map should be able to support 1 million connected devices per square kilometre.


    As the successor to 4G, 5G is set to completely transform the way businesses work. Bringing enormous data capacity, rapid speeds, and incredibly low latency, 5G marks a huge step up from its predecessor. Not only does 5G promise to boost efficiency and unleash the potential of automation in industries like medicine and critical infrastructure, but it will also enable exploration of developing technologies like VR and AR.

    Organizations need to prepare for the possibilities that this next-generation connectivity will offer. Those that are fastest to embrace these changes are set to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. This next-generation network connectivity is set to reinvent the world of business, automation, telecommunication, gaming, etc. 5G is the future.