5G is the 5th generation of wireless technology series that started with 1G in 1979 1G enabled wireless phone calls 2G enabled messaging 3G made internet use in phones possible 4G brought with it HD video calling, fast internet and many more features
All these wireless technologies use electromagnetic waves to transfer information/data and the Electromagnetic wave’s frequency plays an important role in it. Frequency, in simple words is the energy/data transfer capacity of a wave which means, more the frequency, more the data transfer capacity.
Where 4G generally uses the frequency range from 2Ghz to 8Ghz, 5G can use frequencies beyond 50Ghz. Due to which, in comparison to 4G, 5G can provide many additional benefits such as 100 times fast the current internet speeds through which we would be able to download 2 hr long HD movie in a couple of seconds. driverless cars and Internet of Things (IOT). Through which we would be able to control from light in our homes to appliances via a smartphone.
5G could be classified into three types:
- Low Band,
- Mid Band and
- High Band.
Low Band 5G provides High range, which can cover long distances due to their use of low Frequency waves which has a data carrying capacity similar or slightly more than 4G. Meanwhile Mid Band 5g in comparison to Low Band provides more data carrying capacity but less range. Then comes High Band 5g, High 5G speeds of nearly 10 Gbps are possible in this Band only.
To transfer data, High Band 5G uses millimetre waves (mmWaves). These waves are capable of transferring data at blazing fast speeds, but they have a range of 500 metres only! To solve these issues, 5G uses MIMO or Multiple Input Multiple Output Technology , which uses multiple antennas in the broadcasting tower to send and receive multiple input and output signals simultaneously.
Second technology is Beam Forming, in which instead of going in all directions the signal is transmitted directly to the smartphone which increases signal strength and reduces disturbance during signal transmission. Besides this, by using Duplex Technology, 5G could transmit incoming and outgoing signals on the same frequency which will make 5G more efficient.
mmWaves have a very small range because they can be absorbed by nearby trees and buildings. To increase the range, many mini cell towers would have to be installed within a small area, that helps maintain the connection. Due to these requirements, it could take high speed 5G few years to be properly available for the global market.
But one frequently asked question is : “Is 5G safe?” To answer this we would have to understand the concept of Ionizing and Non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation like X-Rays, Gamma Rays can be seen in radioactive materials like Uranium and Plutonium. Electromagnetic waves emitted from these materials have very high energy and frequency, therefore they can cause Cancer in Human body.
But 5G uses non-ionizing radiations like Radio-waves and Microwaves, therefore side effects of ionizing radiation could not be seen in most cases. However, these waves have shown the capacity to generate heat. But more research is still awaited in this field of 5G and a lot of new information is expected in the future.