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Let’s starts with the facts about the new buzz term, 5G, the next gen rollout. In theory, 5G can offer exponential times the speed of 4G. Yes, it’s that much more powerful. 5G uses frequencies that are not crowded with current devices, as is not the case with 4G and 3G devices that use the same spectrum. 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that eventually will kiss your 4G LTE connection in the rear.

G stands for ‘generation.’ When you connect to the Internet, the speed of the Internet depends on the signal strength that is shown using alphabets such as 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and others next to the signal bar on the home screen. The generation is defined as telephone network standards. This entails the implementation of technology of a particular phone system. As speed increases, the technology also used changes.

Difference between 3g 4g and 5g

The main aim of wireless communication is to offer quality and reliable communication like wired communication, and each generation represents a step in that direction. The journey started in 1979 with 1G and has continued to 5G. The generations have standards that should be met to use the G terminology.

Some companies standardize generations of mobile technology. Each generation has the requirements that point things like delay, throughput, etc. which should be met to be considered as a generation. They are built upon research and development that happened since the previous generation. 1G was not used to identify wireless technology until the second generation was released. This was when the wireless networks shifted to digital from analog.

Third generation

When the generation was released, it set standards for wireless technology that we know. Email, web browsing, image sharing, file downloading, and other technology were introduced during the third generation. It was introduced in 2001; its goals were to facilitate greater data and voice capacity, support a wide range of apps, and increase the transmission of data at an affordable cost.
This generation uses a new technology known as Universal Mobile Telecommunication system UMTS; this is the core network architecture. It combines the aspects of the second generation with some new technology and protocols to offer faster data rate. Mobile telecommunications and mobile devices use networks and services that are in line with the International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 specifications, based on the set standards. The speed should at least 200kbps to qualify as third-generation service. The 3G has multimedia services support and streaming are well known.

The universal access and portability in different types of services are possible. The efficiency of the frequency spectrum was increased by improving the way audio is compressed when making a call. Therefore, more calls can happen in the same frequency range. The IMT 2000 standard calls for the stationary speeds to be 2mbps and phone speeds of 384kbps for a real 3G.

Later more features were introduced, leading to 4G. A 3G device cannot communicate through the fourth generation network. The new generations of phones are designed to be backward compatible; therefore, a 4G phone can communicate through 2G or 3G networks.

Fourth generation

The generation is different from the third generation and was made because of the advancements in the technology in the previous decade. It aims to offer high speed, quality, and high capacity to users as it improves security and makes the data and voice services affordable, internet, and multimedia over IP. Most applications have amended mobile access, gaming services, IP telephone, mobile TV, 3D television, video conferencing, and cloud computing. The Multiple Input Multiple Output and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing technologies have made 4G possible. The important standards are WiMAX and LTE. LTE is a series of upgrades to the UMTS technology and may be rolled out on the existing Telstra 1800 Mhz. The maximum speed is 100mbps or 1 Gbps for low mobility communication. For example, when walking, stationary, latency reduces from 300ms to less than 100ms. This lowers congestion significantly.

When 4G was introduced, it was faster than 3G. It is not the same as 4G LTE that is close to meeting the set standards. You can stream a TV show, download games without buffering, etc.

The new generations of mobile devices are made to be backward compatible. Therefore, a 4G device can communicate through a 2G or 3G network. OFDM is one of the main indicators that a service can be marketed as 4G. OFDM is a digital modulation where a signal is divided into different narrowband channels in various frequencies. There are infrastructure changes that that should be implemented by the service providers to supply, because the voice calls in UMTS, GSM, and CDMA2000 are switched on the circuit.

With the adoption of LTE, the carriers may need to engineer their audio call network. There is a fractional of 4.5G and 4.9G which mark the transition of LTE to offer more MIMO, D2D to IMT2010 and the criteria OF 5G.

Fifth generation

The generation is currently being developed. It is intended to improve on the 4G technology. It aims to offer faster data rates, lower latency, higher connection density, and more. Some of the generation’s plans include better battery consumption, a device to device communication, and better wireless coverage. Its maximum speed will be 35.46gbps. This will be 35 times faster than the fourth generation.

The main technologies to look out for are massive Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications, MIMO, and more. These are the new technologies from the past decade, which could be used to offer 10gbps to the users, with the low latency that may not be seen, and enable connections for about 100 billion devices. Estimations have been made for the introduction of 5G networks commercially. The next generation Mobile Networks Alliance estimates that the fifth generation will be released by 2020 to meet the demands of businesses and individual users.

What makes 5G different?

5G is believed to be faster, smarter, and more efficient than 3G and 4G. It promises high phone speeds that outdo the fastest broadband networks. Low latency makes 5G different from 4G and 3G. Reduced latency means that you can use your device as a replacement for Wi-Fi and cable modem.

Additionally, you can upload and download files quickly and stream online without buffering.
5G will help to fix the bandwidth problems. Right now, various devices can be connected to 4G and 3G networks, which don’t have the technology to cope well or effectively. 5G will handle the current devices and new technologies like digital cars and other home connected items.

5G is still a new floating buzz word. Here are some great additional articles that explain 5G well:

5G on Wikipedia

What is 5G – PCMag

The New Cellular – 5G

The Difference Between 4G and 5G

The next question to answer would be, which carrier will have the fastest, most vast and reliable 5G network options? AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are four of the major carriers in the US that have solid plans to introduce their mobile 5G networks by end of 2019. It’s like the race to the moon all over again folks.