Is 5G Really Worth The Massive Time And Money?
It was inevitable that 4G mobile networks would eventually get upgraded to 5G. At this exact moment the networks are being installed in major metropolitan areas around the world, slowly blanketing the most populated areas. Yes, 5G is going to be significantly faster than 4G, with download speeds that can potentially reach 1 – 2 gigabytes a second. Although these speeds won’t be standard, the potential for exceeding a gigabyte a second does exist.
But 5G networks, although extremely fast, come with some serious drawbacks. One of the most significant is the time and effort required to make a network possible. 5G operates on an extremely high frequency, which means that radio waves are weak, and very easy to disrupt. Lower frequency waves are capable of traveling far, and penetrating structures. This made installing the slower networks an easier task. 5G, on the other hand, fails to even penetrate a building’s pane of glass in a window.
The 5G Conundrum
Technically, 5G covers a wide range of frequencies. The most widely applicable is not far removed from what is classed as 4G, and offers modest download speeds of around 100 – 400 megabits per second. This is fine if a user only intends on accessing real money pokies NZ on their device.
But at the higher end of the spectrum is where 5G really begins to offer an exceptional bump in speeds. However, the higher the frequencies, the more difficult it is to utilise the technology. In order to make the higher speeds viable, it is required that multiple relay devices be installed in a grid across an area. Each is the size of a pizza box, meaning that the relays are not physically overbearing. However, deciding where each relay should be installed is a tedious, extremely time consuming task.
As investors have begun to cover major cities with relays, the costs have been thrown into the stratosphere. So much so that critics have begun to question if 5G is really necessary.
The biggest benefits of 5G are, of course, the speeds, and the extremely low latency. This means that the travel time of data between a device, and a tower, is so low as to be almost imperceptible. But as it stands, there are very few services that will actually benefit from the 5G advantages. Live video streaming and other such advancements operate more than acceptably with 4G networks, making a huge bump in speed and latency almost entirely negligible. So what is the point of 5G?
Thoughts are that the low latency, speedy communication speeds will have more applications with future technology. For example, many are suggesting that such technology will make advancements such as automated vehicles far more reliable, and far more viable. The continued network communication of an automated vehicle would be absolutely essential, and given that 5G is virtually uninterruptable it would be perfect for the task.
Though, beyond this speculation, it seems like there really isn’t much need for 5G networks. But only the future will tell how, or if, developers utilise this lightning fast new form of digital communication.