5G: A LEAP INTO THE FUTURE


We are living in a constantly evolving world. The technologies we were utilizing
5 years back are no longer prevailing. Everything is evolving at a rapid pace.
Androids were launched in the market about 10 years ago and at that time
everyone was astounded by the inexplicable technology of touch screens, since
then the market has transformed a long way that these new advancements
cease to amaze us. In 2015 Jio had launched its 4G network in India and that
has completely transformed the way we were consuming the internet. A
similar advancement is knocking at our doorstep, 5G the 5th generation of
wireless transmission is under its final trial in India. Gone are the days when we
used to save 100 mbs of data for 3 days, now it drains out in a flicker of an eye.


1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G are the terms that we often use but what does it signify,
what is the technology behind it? Their differences on the technical ground are
still unclear to many because we rarely try to dive deep into it. The G in these
terms represent a generation, every big advancement in the field of wireless
communication is referred to as the next generation. On the surface, we can
differentiate them based on speed. But the fundamental difference lies in the
frequency spectrum which they work on. 1G the most rudimentary technology
relies on analog signals while the other technology utilizes digital signals which
unlock new features like texting and internet connectivity. And as these
generations had progressed we incorporated more features associated with
the internet. Earlier only voice calling could be done on a 1G network due to
the restrictions associated with analog communication, then with the advent
of 2G network SMS and MMS are incorporated, 3G has made browsing
smoother while 4G made the world a smaller place, with its increased
connectivity. The live classes and YouTube lectures have become a new norm
in times of the pandemic. Just like 4G, 5G is another big leap in this field, 5G
will give rise to a new world of IoT.


5G is better and faster than 3G and 4G, 5th generation of wireless data
transferring will unravel new utilization and application like 4G did. 5G utilizes
millimetre waves which were discovered by an Indian physicist Jagdish
Chandra Bose. Millimetre waves are extremely high-frequency waves whose
frequency ranges from 3GHz to 300Ghz. 5G has a wider bandwidth of 24Ghz to
86 GHz which implies a larger frequency range is available so that multiple
channels can be accommodated in the band and that increases the data
transfer capability. It can provide a blazing downloading speed of 1 to 3 Gbps.
5G has a low latency rate, latency can be defined as the delay before the
transfer of data takes place after the instruction is given. This ultra-low latency
enables instantaneous communication, the latency of 5G is 10 times lesser
than 4G. With 5G due to it’s dense data network the number of devices
connected to a given network will increase exponentially.

When we talk about 5G it becomes obvious that we are talking about cellular
networks, but the application of 5G lies beyond that. The high-speed cellular
internet is one aspect of 5G but it can have diversified applications in the field
of autonomous driving, Internet of Things (IoT) and remote surgery. The low
latency offers no lag that makes this vague dream of remote surgery possible.
IoT is increasing the interaction among various electronics devices. Smart grids
powered with 5G through IoT will result in increased reliability of the power
system.


Wireless communication follows inverse square distance law relation, as the
distance increases the coverage decrease. Therefore 5G has a low coverage per
antenna. 5G utilizes millimetre wave for data transmission and it has a very
high frequency and thus has a shorter wavelength. Higher frequencies have
the advantage of lesser interference with the noise. Since the size of the
antenna depends on the wavelength therefore 5G towers are shorter in length,
but the shorter wavelengths have lower penetration and thus obstruction can
impact the connectivity. The coverage per antenna of 5G is 1000 ft. which is
only 2% of 4G, to ensure a reliable 5G signal more and more cell towers must
be employed at an adequate distance which can increase the overall cost of
installation. Cell towers are the backbone of the 5G network, it increases the
overall connectivity. 5G network requires higher processing abilities so the
batteries drain very fast.


The whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves can be broadly divided into two
segments first is non-ionizing radiation and the second one is ionizing
radiation. The ionizing radiations are carcinogenic. In the EM wave spectrum,
millimetre waves are sandwiched between microwave and infrared waves
which lies in the non-ionizing segment. Misinformation and lack of knowledge
often give rise to conspiracy theories. That is what happening to this
technology. Some conspiracy theories floating on the internet blame radiations
from 5G towers for the covid 19 pandemic, which is completely baseless.
Whether it is 5G technology or the vaccines the conspiracy theorists are using
fear-mongering to create a hysteria that is not backed by any firm scientific
research. There is a need for scientific temper among the people to debunk
these claims, often fear and lack of information lead to the spread of such
claims. Regardless of anything, true concerns backed by scientific research
must be taken seriously. According to the WHO site,


5G technology is currently at an early stage of deployment, the extent of any
change in exposure to radio-frequency fields is still under investigation. To
date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been
causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies
.


5G technology gives a glimpse into the future, pros overshadow the cons. It is
making new applications of IoT possible that will transform the world around
us into a more connected, aware and responsive form.

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