The hyped network upgrade is called “5G”, and it means different things to different people.

For industry supporters, this is the next great innovation of wireless Internet. For the US government, this is the future backbone technology that the US will compete with China for control. For many ordinary people, this is just a mystery.

To be precise, what is a 5G wireless network? Will you still notice when it goes online?

What is 5G?

5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks, and naturally, the fifth promises faster speeds. Reduced latency or “wait time” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the Internet without causing malfunction. Ideally, 5G networks will be able to better handle more users, a large number of sensors and busy traffic.

Before all of us can use it, wireless companies and phone manufacturers must upgrade. Mobile phones need new chips and radio antennas to work with new networks.

The wireless company is ready. They have been transforming network equipment, purchasing large amounts of radio spectrum to carry 5G signals, and installing new 5G antennas on cell phone towers, telephone poles and street lights. According to data from the industry trade organization CTIA, wireless providers will invest US$275 billion (approximately INR 25.6 billion) in 5750 related networks in the United States.

When will it be available?

The real US mobile deployment began in 2019, but the significantly faster network is still sparse. Michael Thelander, CEO of Wireless Consulting Company Signals Research Group, said that it will take several years to enter the country. Even then, more rural areas of the country will not be able to cover those that are expected to achieve the highest data speed and capacity. Millimeter wave” frequency. .

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But beware of confusion. Wireless operators have a history of rushing to shoot the latest and greatest tags on their networks, and this time it is no different. AT&T has already applied the name 5G to services that are not 5G.

Once the network is ready, you will need a 5G-capable phone to connect to it. The Android version has been out for a while, and on Tuesday Apple released its first 5G iPhone. But you can continue to use 4G phones. They just can’t connect to the available 5G speed.

What can 5G do?

There is considerable hype about the promise of 5G. Industry groups say it will promote the development of smart cities by connecting sensor networks that can manage traffic and quickly identify street lamp failures. 5G can connect self-driving cars and promote the development of new applications in virtual reality and augmented reality. Its high-speed connection can achieve better remote surgery and other telemedicine, help companies automate factories, and provide enterprises with dedicated high-speed Internet channels.

“The speed of 5G and faster and faster home broadband will mean that the existing applications will become richer, and there will also be new applications, new Flickrs, YouTube or Snapchat. We don’t know what, “Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz partner Benedict Evans (Benedict Evans) wrote in a 2019 blog post.

The most direct impact on consumers is much smaller. Movies and other videos will be downloaded faster. Thelander said that your phone’s internet will work better in crowded places such as stadiums.

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What is the security issue?

5G networks are one of the frontiers of growing tension between China and the United States. For security reasons, the U.S. government is rooting Chinese telecommunications technology in communication networks and urges other countries to ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from using 5G networks.

For years, US officials have suspected that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s network equipment to help it conduct espionage activities. Huawei has rejected such allegations.

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