What is 5G and how does it work? A Brief Explanation - The Happy Android

¿What is a 5G connection? Every time we hear more about this type of communication that in principle should help us improve our mobile connectivity and surf the Internet at extreme speeds. But how exactly do they work?

If we look at the mobile data icon on our phone, we will most likely see a connection bar with a few letters indicating "LTE", "4G" or "3G". If we have a slightly loose connection we will also see the letter "E", which means that we are browsing with 2G connectivity. Unfortunately, something quite common still in small towns and areas far from the urban core.

What is 5G exactly?

For the last 40 years each of these "G" has represented a new generation within mobile network infrastructures. So 1G brought us sound, 2G brought text, 3G introduced web browsing, and 4G LTE connections made everything 10 times faster. Where then is the grace of 5G?

The first thing we have to keep in mind is that 5G makes everything much faster. To give us an idea, the fastest 4G modems we have today reach speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. As well, a 5G connection is capable of multiplying that maximum by 10, up to 20Gb / s.

But another advantage that comes with these beastly speeds is that latency is practically zero. Latency is the delay or delay between devices, from when information is sent until the receiving device receives said data. Basically, 5G is designed to establish communications in near real time, with a delay or lag of just 1 millisecond. If we take into account that human reflexes are between 150 and 300 times slower, we can say without a doubt that they are the most satisfactory response times.

During 2019 it is expected that around thirty mobile phones with 5G connection will be presented, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G being the first to open the ban in Europe this coming summer. Soon we will also have the Huawei Mate X with a folding screen, which will also be compatible with 5G networks. Both mobiles with a price above 1,000 euros in the best of cases.

The Huawei Mate X | Source: huawei.com

The current problems of 5G connections

Apple for its part has not announced anything yet - you never know - but in principle it is expected that it will still take a year or two more to present its terminal for 5G networks. And it may be a more than smart move, since the majority of telephone operators worldwide they do not plan to offer widespread coverage for 5G until the end of 2020.

Therefore, if we buy a mobile with 5G connectivity this year, we may not notice a big difference. That is, we will be navigating at the same speed until our telephone company and our city adapt their infrastructures to this new standard.

Yes, these are the futuristic offices of Apple, the most expensive building in the US today.

Other advantages that the implementation of 5G networks will bring

But 5G does not only apply to mobile telephony. There are many other devices that can also take advantage of the next generation of wireless communications. We are talking about automated factory robots that will be able to communicate with each other in real time on production lines, drones on agricultural holdings that will be able to coordinate to create new sowing and irrigation techniques, etc. The truth is that the possibilities that 5G makes available to us are practically unlimited.

But not everything is rosy ...

One of the great disadvantages of 5G technology is that it uses millimeter-sized waves to reach those speeds. This limits its range to a few hundred meters, and prevents the signal from passing through walls or suffers when it rains or bad weather.

In any case, that does not mean that the technology is not viable. In fact, 5G also relies on the same waves that 4G uses, which are capable of traveling long distances and passing through walls and meteorological obstacles. That is why the big providers are spending a real fortune building new transmitter infrastructures every few hundred meters in all directions.

Antennas! Antennas everywhere !!

Therefore, at least for now, we will still have to wait a bit to be able to enjoy things such as online games without "real" lags, 100% autonomous cars and all those advantages yet to be discovered that will come with the implementation and standardization of 5G technology.

Cover image: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G | Source: samsung.com

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