5G will have a huge impact on the development of mobile technologies. Not just for phones

Soon, the 5G network will be launched in Poland, replacing the 4G / LTE, which is widespread today. Once again, our phones will accelerate even more efficiently downloading data from the Web. But this time it is not quite the point.

5G is a new generation of cellular communication and its natural step in evolution. These new generations of networks are new frequency bands and wider spectrum bands per frequency channel. In the case of 1G it was 30 KHz, in the case of 2G - 200 kHz, in the case of 3G - 5 MHz, in the case of 4G - 20 MHz. The problem is that, according to many experts, the space for terrestrial radio services will end soon. We are getting closer to the point where higher frequencies interfere with telecommunication satellites.

So why is 5G actually made? Bearing in mind the previous generations of cellular connectivity, the primary goal seems to be to increase the bandwidth between the data server and the recipient. This time, however, the main goal was something else: the ability to support more devices in a given area. Of course, the performance of the link is very important and stimulates further development, but this time the development of the so-called Internet of Things turned out to be more important. We will come back to this.

5G due to numerous improvements over previous generation networks will enable the creation of completely new digital services. No wonder that operators around the world are doing their best to implement it as soon as possible - after all, thanks to this they will be a business and technological partner for a number of innovative business ideas. In Poland, the leader in the practical implementation of 5G for today is the Play network , which already when setting up infrastructure for 4G designed it so that it would be relatively easy to upgrade to the newer generation.

Higher data transfers in 5G mean more convenient consumption of content.

Theoretically, a 5G network should ensure that data is downloaded at 20 Gb / s and sent at 10 Gb / s. At least this is what the specifications mean, although real transfers are likely to be slightly lower - due to technical difficulties that are difficult to avoid. And so it will be a significant improvement over previous generation networks.

What can such a powerful connection be used for? Good question. After all, we play video games or use Netflix on our phones today without any problem. However, I would not fall into the intellectual trap of assuming that what we have is enough . At one time, almost everyone thought that several hundred kilobytes of RAM would be sufficient for every computer. Today, much smarter, we already know that only imagination limits us in inventing new applications for new technologies.

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An efficient connection is the ability to quickly exchange large volumes of data, such as video files. It's also much faster downloads of quite a lot of games and movies. Let's not forget about the possibility of using 5G also as a connection to the network of our computer designed for work - and yet efficient and quick data exchange with the team can be crucial to quickly finish work on a given project.

Without a doubt, having a device with a 5G modem, we will be even more convenient and even more willing to use digital services - in particular those related to entertainment. But does all this fuss mainly serve to quickly download your favorite Spotify playlist offline? Definitely not.

Not just high transfers. The 5G network also ensures very low latency.

Delays (or latency from English latency ) are the second most important parameter defining the quality of the link. Data can, after all, be sent to us at a very high speed, but when a more direct exchange of information between our device and the server is needed, the response time is immeasurably longer.

Network game lovers know this very well. If you ever hear complaints from them about the so-called pings , these players are talking about delays in their jargon. In video games, these delays are very severe, because it means that our character responds with delay to commands. In online shooters and other arcade games, high latency makes it very difficult and fun to play. Specified 5G network cannot have higher latency than 5 ms. This is more than enough for players.

However, the games don't end there. Low delays make it possible to implement new types of services in practice. For example, remote monitoring and assistance systems, in which algorithms or live people can instantly respond to events that take place away from them. Autonomous cars, however, should appeal to the imagination.

Every driver knows that reaction time to a traffic incident is crucial - lack of reflexes can have tragic consequences. Most platforms for autonomous vehicles rely at least partly on cloud computing. The vehicle consults the server regarding the interpretation of what its sensors perceive. Here, every millisecond counts, any delays can result in a bump or something even worse. The services of mobile operators based on 5G basically solve this problem.

5G is, however, primarily a revolution in the Internet of Things.

There is a scene in the sensational film adaptation of the Minority Report, in which the main character walks around the mall. I remember it very much: this hero in each store was greeted by name, immediately with promotions and product offers tailored to his needs. It was also shown how it is possible: thousands of sensors scan the retinas of the eye of people walking around the mall, allowing them to be clearly identified.

In the film it was presented as something terrifying - in truth and in reality, such a great loosening of our privacy should at least be discussed and consulted socially. But we are not about it today, but about the sensors themselves. This is what we call the Internet of Things (more and more often also edge computing , which has not yet been translated into Polish). Because we are no longer living in a time when only a telephone and a computer were connected to the Internet.

The Fibaro Smart Home system works with Apple HomeKit.

If we have a modern apartment, the network also connects our TV, game console, watch, alarm clock on the cabinet, speaker with voice assistant, fridge, stove, air conditioning system, intercom and so on. Added to this are various service sensors: fire safety, elevator management system and housing lighting. PC, tablet, console, electronics, household appliances, service sensors, internet radios - this is what we call the Internet of Things (IoT for Internet of things ). 5G was created just to enable efficient operation of hundreds (or maybe thousands) of devices located on a very small area in an efficient, efficient and interference-free manner.

We will appreciate it in the near future, building our smart home . However, this revolution is much more important.

Building a new home in a dozen or so years, we will probably make sure that it is intelligent. That household appliances and electronics work efficiently and automatically, because thanks to this we will save time and money, gaining convenience. Surely, thanks to the above examples you understand how we will directly benefit from 5G on the example of our electronic gadgets multiplying around us. But the Internet of Things is more than that. Much more.

Imagine a large intersection with many branches and heavy traffic. To be able to manage this movement efficiently and automatically as part of the smart city idea, dozens of small sensors are needed only at this one intersection. Cameras, service information from traffic lights, light boards, motion sensors, monitoring of pedestrian crossings and so on. And this is only one intersection. And yet under this intersection there may be an automatic paid garage. Next to it, a skyscraper with thousands of sensors for air conditioning, supervision of passenger lifts and fire detectors. Somewhere below, the sewage system is remotely and digitally monitored. Without 5G, automation of smart cities would not be possible.

The situation is similar in industry and trade. Complex production lines or industrial installations can be more easily and conveniently monitored by thousands of simple sensors communicating with the server located in the cloud.

An example from the medical industry appeals to my imagination the most. Imagine a situation where the patient requires immediate surgery and the expert surgeon is in a completely different place. The high data flow provided by 5G will allow such a surgeon to connect with his robotic counterpart in the operating room using virtual reality technology. Low delays will provide the necessary precision in translating a surgeon located elsewhere into the movements of the operating arm of the robot. Everything will be supervised by sensors connected to the cloud.

5G is not only high data transfer. First of all, they are completely new solutions and possibilities of creating services that are not possible with 4G.

The welcome increase in the speed of downloading and sending data from our phone is undoubtedly significant and desirable. And so the high comfort of using services with movies, music or video games will increase significantly, being indistinguishable from using content locally , i.e. in the memory of our devices.

However, the most new mobile technologies will appear around us and our phones. Mobile operators will enable business partners to create services that we've seen in science-fiction movies so far. From the possibility of servicing our smart home without problems, by ensuring the efficiency of our city's operation, to the significant development of services related to trade, industry, medicine and many others.

The operator has signed a memorandum with the city of Gdynia , under which he undertakes to implement dynamic frequency sharing with time synchronization on over 100 base stations. Play argues that thanks to this it will become a 5G network leader in Poland. Gdynia is not the only city where Play conducts 5G tests. These also last in Toruń, Sokołów Podlaski, and in Grójec. This is the beginning of a real revolution - incomparably more important than the one that 4G / LTE heralded.

* The text was created in cooperation with the Play network operator.

5G will have a huge impact on the development of mobile technologies. Not just for phones


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