The highly anticipated rollout of 5G is poised to make a significant impact on how we work and live online. Likened to a “global nervous system”, 5G is complex, technologically advanced, and will bring fundamental changes to our lives. While China is the leading developer of the technology, other nations are rapidly pursuing 5G projects to keep pace.
Here’s a closer look at what the changes will bring.
What Makes 5G So Different?
Short for fifth-generation mobile network, 5G is a unified, more powerful air interface that boasts speeds of 1 gigabit per second, or 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) — quite the jump from the 45Mbps offered on the fastest 4G networks. 5G will enable downloading and browsing speeds that are 10 to 20 times faster, as well as lower latency for much greater responsiveness. These features will support a heightened ability to connect with many devices, from Internet of Things sensors to smart home technology.
How will it change our lives?
5G has the potential to change nearly everything we do at home, at work, and elsewhere. The full impact of the transformation is too complex to predict, but here are a few examples of what could change across several key areas.
Device storage limits have become an increasing issue over recent decades. From photos to music, podcasts, and social media posts, we’re consuming and creating more content than ever before. Eventually, 5G could solve this issue, making storage on devices irrelevant since it will enable everything to be stored in the cloud. An entirely new wave of phones, gaming systems, and other devices could be in our future.
The capacity of home internet will change, too. Households with many members will have an easier time streaming, gaming, and connecting smart devices—all at the same time—due to 5G’s increased capacity.
Additionally, driverless cars will become safer, which in turn will make them more prevalent. With lower latency, 5G will improve navigation through traffic, thanks to instant communication.
Improved business efficiencies will be far-reaching. In particular, 5G can support artificial intelligence (AI) projects in ways that 4G couldn’t. AI relies on huge pools of data to enable machine learning, allowing computers to do things humans normally would. With slower speeds and lower latency, 4G has held AI initiatives back, but with 5G, we may see AI power efficiencies in environments outside the office. For instance, sensors connected to wind turbines could feed data directly to AI software to help crews determine optimal maintenance schedules, potentially preventing power outages.
Across nearly every industry, 5G will enable drastic changes. From smart manufacturing that enhances efficiencies in factories to sensors that optimize maintenance and repair schedules, there are tremendous opportunities for improvement.
With lower latency, fewer lags, and faster speeds, 5G will support a more widespread adoption of telemedicine. This means the best doctors could reach patients all over the world, and potentially even perform surgeries remotely. For rural communities or patients who are unable to travel, access to top-notch healthcare could be life-changing. 5G-powered AI systems could also help to inform patient healthcare and treatment plans. Practitioners can draw from a wealth of patient data, including genetics, health history, and lifestyle factors, to make targeted, effective care decisions.
5G will also power the rise of smart cities. Parking meters and security cameras can be connected to the internet, allowing personnel to step in promptly when issues arise and enhance safety. Through the use of sensors, energy savings can also be realized. Smart lighting can automatically dim when no one is near, for instance.
While the 5G revolution may not be fully realized for months or even years, now is the time to start thinking about how you’ll handle your outdated devices. As you begin to embrace the change, turn to Quantum for responsible recycling. Find out more about our solutions here or by calling (888) 676-4992.