Simply put, 5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity. 5G promises to offer connections that are much faster than current connections, and to allow computing devices to communicate with each other much more quickly and efficiently. 5G networks are already starting to appear and are expected to launch across the world this year, working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you are.
When 4G technology came on the scene a number of years ago, it allowed for mobile internet speeds that were up to 500 times faster than 3G, and also allowed for things such as high definition TV on mobile devices, video calls, and greatly increased browsing speeds. No doubt about it-4G was a huge feat for mobile technology. It is now commonplace throughout the world, and among other things led to the evolution of smart phones and tablets from which we all benefit immensely.
However, a looming problem seems to exist in that as our world becomes more connected through “internet of things” devices, the existing 4G technology will not be able to support the predicted explosion of IoT devices. And that’s where 5G is expected to come into play. Tons of devices requiring greater connection capacities and speeds are being added daily to the internet, and 5G and its smarter, faster, and more efficient technology is expected to be able to handle this potential problem. Estimates vary but 5G is expected to be a hundred times faster than 4G and to be able to fully absorb the issue of the exponential growth of internet connected devices.
5G does not come without concern. It uses high-frequency waves that support faster speeds but these waves don't travel as far as current wireless frequencies. So instead of relying on large cellphone towers spread far apart, 5G needs "small cell" sites that are much closer together. Not surprisingly, this has raised alarm in terms of the potential health effect these hundreds of thousands of additional cell towers might cause.
It must be remembered that there is still a lot of work to do on 5G technology, and it will take a lot of investment from both government and private industry to bring 5G to a point of truly working. Also, with more users and more devices that come along with this technology, the security threats that arise and the necessary measures to offset these threats will have to be strongly and proactively considered.