What is 5G?
Fifth generation (5G) wireless broadband is the latest advance in cellular technology. 5G will greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks and expand them to enable hundreds of thousands of connections. 5G offers greater capacity, higher data rates and much lower latency—and it will support further innovations such as the internet of things (IoT) and network slicing, creating a smarter, more connected world.
How long will it take for 5G technology to arrive?
The launch of 5G was officially slated for 2020, but its development has been well underway for some time with many companies having already introduced early versions of 5G devices, applications and networks. However, it still may take a few years before we see the full potential and benefits of 5G.
Top 3 consumer benefits of 5G
1. Connected vehicles
With 5G comes unprecedented speed and connectivity—the kind needed to make autonomous, or self-driving, cars a reality. 5G networks have what it takes to allow faster-than-ever communication and data processing between vehicles, networks, infrastructure and even pedestrians. In other words, 5G networks will facilitate communication between everything on the road—from lampposts to gas stations—in the interest of safety and traffic management.
Big changes are on the horizon for smartphones—and 5G devices will soon become the norm. The main advantage of 5G over 4G for users is better coverage, i.e., signals will hit previously hard-to-reach places with connection guaranteed as part of service plans. What’s more, subscribers will finally get the extraordinary quality they expect on their devices, with downloads predicted to have no perceptible delay.
3. Streaming and entertainment
5G offers a striking advantage over previous technologies, with virtually unlimited capacity and short lag times. In addition to better quality and considerably faster streaming, 5G promises revolutionary immersive experiences, including multisensory digital content thanks to increased capacity that will support technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D.
Delivering the 5G experience to consumers
5G services and applications are a potential goldmine for carriers. But with ever-growing consumer expectations, how can carriers make sure they deliver the 5G experience and take full advantage of the new revenue streams? 5G promises a range of use cases including IoT, industrial IoT, smart cities and transportation and real-time video—but guaranteeing the performance of these new services and applications will require flawless service assurance solutions. And to support these diverse industry use cases, carriers must transform their network architecture.
5G innovations and the diverse service demands also bring significant network and operational complexity. CSPs must implement high levels of network automation to tackle this 5G complexity and keep operational costs in check. An assurance-led network automation approach can help CSPs to operationalize 5G at scale.
We’ve only begun to see the benefits of 5G technology, with early buildouts and use cases just being launched. 5G’s extraordinary speeds, greater capacity and virtually unlimited connectivity will allow consumers to enjoy a smarter, more connected world with, among other things, better mobile service, safer streets and enhanced entertainment. 5G represents a huge potential for new revenue streams for carriers, too.
Hailed as the next tech revolution, 5G promises advantages that will touch every area of human experience, from security to entertainment and beyond. To find out more about 5G and what EXFO is doing to facilitate its arrival and ensure carriers can reap the full benefits with cutting-edge service assurance solutions, contact us.