Overview

In the telecommunications industry, talks about the fifth-generation broadband mobile network (or the 5G) have been making rounds for years. The global wireless standard succeeding the fourth generation (4G) is supposedly a step into the future, connecting almost everyone virtually.

Questions have been raised repeatedly regarding the differences and presumed advantages of 5G over previous standard mobile networks. Several cellular carriers in the US have now launched 5G in one way or another.

If we were to look at surveys, here’s one by PC magazine.  It says that people in the US who’ve opted for the 5G network do not sense much of a difference with its predecessor. Before you worry, let us tell you that it’s completely natural. The first 4G phones made their debut in 2010 in the US. However, the ‘4G experience’ didn’t happen as late as 2015. 

Well, patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to technology. It’s an investment for the future, a seed for better, more advanced telecommunication experience. In this article, we will take you through the evolution of 5G networks, the 5G key players involved and the future significance of this leap.

How is the 5G Network Different?

The question that pops up most in the public is as to the ‘need for’ a 5G network. ’Why should I switch? How is it different?’ To save you the time and effort, we’ve researched for you. Let us list down the differences between the previous generations of the mobile network.

The 1G network did little more than providing humans with the analog voice feature. The second-generation (or 2G) brought important developments in the early 90s. It introduced the concept of digital voices.

The third-generation (an absolute game changer) introduced mobile data,hanging the lives of billions across the world. The fourth-generation(4G), responsible for much of our recreation brought in the concept of mobile broadband. It was a feat unparalleled by most things we’ve seen in the world of technology.

That was until the concept of 5G became reality. The 5th Generation (5G) broadband mobile network has an integrated, more advanced air-interface. The ’5G experience’ will also provide better services and take your new deployment models to another level. Not to mention, it’ll provide you with better speed, stronger reliability and an overall better cellular ecosystem. 

The advantages of 5G will be felt across different industries, be they transportation, healthcare, or business. We hope this provided you with some clarity regarding the difference between 5G and its predecessors. In the next section, we shall take a look at how 5G will impact the global economy.

The Impact on Global Economy

According to statistics from Qualcomm, 5G is driving the global economy. Around 22.3 million jobs are expected to be created shortly, with $13.2 trillion of economic output GDP growth will amount to a whopping 2.1 trillion dollars!

It is estimated that the full economic potential of the 5G cellular network will be realised by the year 2035. Needless to say, the impact on the global economy is much more than that of previous generations. However, at this stage, it is impossible to gauge the impact of 5G on the global economy accurately. 

An advancement will be made from technology connecting people to people and people to information to a unified air interface that connects everything and everyone to everyone and everything. 

If you’re looking for more information on its economical impact, here’s a report by the World Economic Forum.The report sheds light on how the faster, more-efficient mobile network will create value in the economic sector.

Who Invented 5G?

Contrary to the popular belief, 5G was not invented by one person or company. In fact, the fifth-generation broadband cellular network is brought to life by several companies attempting to provide their users with better speed, efficiency and spectrum.

For those who are unaware, we’re currently in the middle of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). This is an industry organisation that defines what constitutes a 5G network.

It is not only responsible for 5G’s air interface but also includes other members ranging from infrastructure sellers, parts-manufacturer and mobile service providers.

Part two – The 5G Spectrum

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s about time we let you know the truth. Not all 5Gs are the same. To lessen your confusion, just divide the 5G coverage into two different classifications – low/mid-band and the mmWave. The basic difference is between their frequencies. 

While the low/mid band uses frequencies below 6Hz, the mmWave goes beyond. If the rumours are true, Apple is launching Iphones supporting the 5G network next year; however, it’ll only include the mid-band part of the spectrum. This makes sense as the low/mid-band uses only existing technologies. It is definitely slower and less efficient than the mmWave but offers a smoother transition to the users.

Wondering what you can do with it right now? Watch 4K videos or download a bunch of Netflix shows and series. The bigger implications of 5G will take some time to appear, and until then it’s all one step at a time.

Moving on to the mmWave; it’s a remarkable leap. The speed is unparalleled and so you need numerous newer transmitters to function and that’s not entirely accessible due to its limited range. 

The choice is easy, if you can’t wait to get your hands on 5G, the best option right now is expensive phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10. However, if you’re an Apple addict and are willing to wait – perhaps now’s not the best time to switch.

5G 2021 – Key Players in the Patent Race

For the past few years, mobile companies providing 4G cellular networks have been ruling the telecommunication sector. Similarly, the companies with 5G patents are likely to control the market and become technology leaders.

Here’s a brief list of companies decided based on the maximum number of 5G patent families, filled at the earliest priority period and the amount of 5G contribution made by them.

  1. Huawei Technologies
  2. Ericsson
  3. Nokia
  4. Qualcomm
  5. ZTE Corporation
  6. Samsung Electronics 
  7. Inter Corporation 
  8. L.G Electronics 
  9. China Mobile
  10.  CATT

Who’s interested?

Here’s a heads up; if you’re trying to analyse the investment made by major companies in the 5G 2021 dream, keep an eye on the standards-setting meetings. It is a discussion platform of sorts, where individuals meet to discuss. The engineers that frequent these meetings and the companies they work for indicate their interest and investment as 5G key players in the 5G 2021 future.

The Ones Ahead

The title of this section is vague, and so are the factors used to determine the leading countries in 5G growth and trials. In this section, we will update you on the global status of 5G connectivity and the countries winning this technological race.

The first commercial launch of the fifth-generation broadband cellular network was done at the end of 2018. And like a firework, it popped up one after the other in several countries throughout the world. Some countries are doing exceptionally good in deploying networks and manufacturing 5G compatible devices. Without going into many details, here’s a brief overview of the countries leading the 5G market.

  1. China: We’re sure that’s hardly surprising. The South-Asian country is famous for its technology and like every time, it didn’t disappoint. Three of the country’s largest network operators successfully launched the world’s largest 5G network.
  1. South Korea: Three parties have contributed to the 5G wave in South Korea; the two rival companies, SK Telecom & Korea Telecom, with the third and most important party being Korea’s consumers. 5Gcompatible phones are sold at a lightning speed, some of them going out of stock as soon as they arrive.
  1. United Kingdom: With equipment from Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, the United Kingdom is way ahead of other countries when it comes to 5G network deployment.
  1. United States (a possible leader?): As early as September 2018, the FCC launched their 5G Fast Plan. An ‘incentive auction’ was organised to auction the 5G spectrums. Verizon, AT&T and T-mobile are some 5G key players. 

Other countries such as Switzerland and a huge part of the Nordic countries (such as Finland, Iceland, Norway, etc) have a great potential to develop the 5G connectivity in the coming years. chances are even after the limited deployment – they might surprise the world.

Conclusion

5G is a step into the future, a chance for humankind to achieve greater comfort. All of its advantages make it important for individuals to have a certain level of knowledge about the implications of using 5G. With this article, we hope we educated you at least a little on the topic. 

If you’ve made it this far, we’re sure you can differentiate between the different generations of cellular networks and decide what is best for you and how. 

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