The move towards 5G?

“Ask any cell phone expert and they will tell you that it takes a long time for significant new technologies to be developed to a level at which they are ready for market. The development of both 2G and 3G took about 10 years respectively before they became standardized” says Rosette Summer (1). 3G and 4G networks have recently been released world wide, when will the next stage come?

Currently no development projects for a 5G network have made progress. There is a general skepticism about the reliability and achieve-ability of a 5G network. “New mobile generations are invariably assigned additional frequency bands and a wider spectral bandwidth for each channel. Skeptics argue that there is simply no room to accommodate this in the current infrastructure” (1).  The latest generations of technologies each require frequency bands and wider spectral bandwidths per channel. Many people doubt the actual potential to incorporate these networks into the existing system.

However, in 2008 South Korea proposed $58 million towards the creation of 4G and 5G technology. By 2012 they aimed to create the largest “mobile phone share in the market”. Since the release of 4G, it has been unclear whether they are still pursuing a 5G network. In order to  provide speed for uploads and downloads Korea needs to drastically improve “peak bitrates”. A Bitrate is “the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time” (3). Basically, bits per second tells you how fast the connection is. An upgrade from 3 to 4G means an increase in the peak bitrate. Additional upgrades improve speed and download quality.

“4G typically peaks at 10Mbps downstream for WiMAX (and Korea’s variant WiBro) and 100Mbps for Long Term Evolution (LTE), each of which allows for real-time full quality Internet video over the air as well as online action games and other actions that depend on low lag and high speed” (2). Many believe that the actual benefits of an upgrade in this system will be too similar to 4G. With more information on 5G one can say whether or not people will integrate it, but more needs to be offered than a slight speed improvement.

One other improvement could be a cleaner way to charge users for bandwidth. South Korea has until the end of 2012 to meet their goal of a 5G network. Altogether, small improvements throughout many aspects of the technology could result in an increase in the quality and value.

Resources:

1. http://www.ashchuan.com/blog/2011/12/28/5g-wireless-the-next-frontier-in-internet-technology/

2. http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/5G-Wireless-Dont-Get-Your-Hopes-Up-102932

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rate

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About sophiwaterr


2 responses to “The move towards 5G?

  • rbain1

    The fact that there’s even such a thing as “5G” is worrisome. Even before I can get a handle on my 4G device a newer one is produced in mass quantities on a never-ending conveyer belt of even more advanced technology. It’s understandable that globalization is driving international competition and thus companies to push the limits of technological capabilities, but this rate is scary. Talk about creating a digital divide. It’s hard for me to even keep up. Although leapfrogging is inevitable, it shouldn’t be the standard way of living, and it seems as though that is what it is becoming.

  • sophiwaterr

    I know, it can be really stress inducing.

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