The 5G Promise
5G is just about here, and the telecom carriers are pushing it out. Android devices, made by numerous manufacturers, are about to come on the market – even if networks are in the development stage. Rumors abound that Apple will hold back until 2020 to introduce 5G devices, and that’s a good decision for a number of reasons.
Beyond our personal mobile devices, 5G will be at the heart of the new infrastructure that will lead to things like autonomous vehicles, just to name one exciting new technology. The amount of computing power and the speed of data distribution required for self-driving cars and other technologies to make decisions and take action is unimaginable to most of us. To characterize how 5G will make technological implementation possible, we like to use the “running back” analogy. In football, we all know that the faster a back can run 40 yards, the more desirable he becomes. However, the elite running backs are those who can get to full speed within their first two steps and go through a hole before it closes.
It’s that same running-back quickness that will make 5G effective for technology. It’s the reaction time for autonomous vehicles to brake or turn or stop without causing a major accident. It’s the ability for a medical robot to see a problem as quickly as an experienced surgeon and immediately reach an area with difficult access with a delicacy that’s not always possible for humans.
To get back to more technical terms, a properly implemented 5G network can’t have any latency – or delays in sending, distributing and reassembling the data that makes things work. For newer applications of autonomous vehicles or medical robotics, we’ll demand instant performance and speed with no exceptions or excuses. We already demand it when we use technology for research, transactions, streaming, etc.
The technology behind 5G networks has a huge number of moving parts, such as towers, capacity and the capabilities of devices. Everything must be in sync, and our providers must work through the inevitable bugs. We are so early in the 5G rollout that we’re still in Version 1.0. Personally, I think Apple, which has a proprietary, tightly controlled operating systems (OS) and maintains equally tight control over hardware and apps, will wait until 2020, when we’re likely to have Version 1.5 for 5G.
And when the time comes to deploy 5G, we’re going to see an explosion of capabilities that will affect us all profoundly. The implementation of 4G LITE technology enabled us to stream live TV and use GPS to get from Point A to Point B by car, by foot and even by public transportation anywhere in the world. Now, we see it as an essential for all the technology that will make autonomous vehicles, smart traffic controls, and advances in healthcare, manufacturing and agriculture possible.
It will also become a compelling factor for home internet by giving us more data faster. We’ll use that capability to watch more TV shows, live events, and movies on bigger, higher-definition screens, and that will likely mean we’ll see more caps on data use and tiered pricing from our internet service providers. Businesses may need to limit their employees’ use of the internet as matter of economic necessity. 5G will be a tool we’ll need to control before it controls us.
As the 5G rollout picks up steam and becomes more widespread, we’ll be there to help. Call us – 973-533-6676 – or email us with questions and assistance in buying 5G devices and setting up your technology to take advantage of 5G’s benefits as cost-effectively as possible.