During their Mobile World Congress (MWC) conference, Nokia presented their vision for the future of mobile technology: 5G data connection. It’s the faster, better successor to 4G.
However, they are not the only company looking into 5G. It was the star of MWC this year, and every press conference included at least a mention to the next generation of data.
But what exactly is 5G, and what can we expect from it when it launches (probably around 2020)?
For now, 5G isn’t much more than a concept. Mobile companies are looking into increasing the speed and quality of data connections - it’s expected to reach speeds of ten to one hundred times faster than 4G LTE.
At the moment, most companies are working on millimeter wave technology, which is a band of spectrum between 30 and 300 GHz - basically, an extremely high frequency of waves which can be used to transmit data wirelessly. Currently, 4G is performing on waves under 3GHz.
With faster network speeds and almost instant latency, 5G is expected to take connectivity to the next level...
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared at MWC that virtual reality would be one of the best applications of 5G. However, faster connections will allow for a variety of new uses:
Obviously, the first application of 5G will be to download at much faster speeds. Nokia claim to have achieved downloading speeds of 30 GB per second - more than one thousand times faster than 4G. Video quality will also increase, with ultra-HD expected to make an appearance.
With 5G, users will be able to instantly stream digital content to play online, whether on mobile devices or virtual reality headsets. Data will transfer so quickly, loading times will be almost non-existent.
5G networks should be fast enough to coordinate self-driving cars in real time - meaning that cars could effectively communicate with each other, making roads safer.
Video chats inevitably lag, but with 5G, this could be a thing of the past! Video conferences would flow without a hitch. What’s more, ultra high-definition video would make it feel like everyone is in the same room.
We could apply 5G technology to robots being used in medical care, allowing surgical robots to react instantly to a surgeon’s command. This could even allow for operations to be performed remotely, so that people in less accessible regions would receive medical care from a doctor from 1,000 miles away.
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