11 Feb 2018
2 min read
Speak To The Geek
The world is abuzz with 5G, but what exactly is 5G? And how is it different from 4G and other generations of technology? -- Sumana Panta
The terms 3G, 4G and 5G are actually classifications of generations of mobile wireless technologies, a classification that started from pre-cellular mobile phone technology back in the 1970s. The world actually started to view mobiles as a reliable source of communication with the development of the second generation, or the 2G. It allowed us to send text messages for the first time, and internet services like GPRS and EDGE too came out in that period. This was followed by 3G, which allowed users to broadcast themselves live and stream movies over the speed of up to 14.4 mbps. Superseding the 3G network was the 4G, which is the network that is prevalent in our smartphones these days. It is also called LTE--Long Term Evolution. The obvious best thing about 4G is its speed, which is capable of giving us the typical download speed of over 30 mbps upto 300 mbps.
Now, you may be questioning why you need a better network when 4G is already providing you with enough speed. Before I answer your question, I need you to first count the number of gadgets you own. Chances are you own at least three to four devices, all of which use, and need, the internet. And when all these devices (and thousands more) use data at the same time, there is heavy traffic on cellular networks, which may result in weak connections. To deal with this problem, 5G is currently being developed, which will possibly be able to support a million active devices per square km. It will also have a whopping speed of up to 20 gbps.
The development of 5G will also solve the problem of waves not being able to pass through walls, trees and other obstacles--as this network will use smaller base stations to send waves, instead of using large powered cell stations, enabling waves to pass through objects. The stations will also have better antenna capacity (of more than 20 times in comparison to the best ones in operation these days).
When it comes to internet speed, faster is always better. And the 5G does sound promising. But for now, the 4G service, which is still quite new for Nepal, is doing wonders too. Developed nations are expecting to start 5G from 2020, but in a country like ours, 4G is probably not going to die that soon.