5G is expected to be 10 times faster than 4G but the real question is what kind of challenges we will face once the network rollout is here.
The speed and bandwidth will be enough to effectively replace broadband internet connections. This new technology will help you communicate with each other with no lag. For example, when you draw something on a piece of paper, you see it as it happens. That’s zero latency and this is something 5G will achieve: no waiting. This will open new avenues for virtual and augmented reality experiences, self-driving cars, and faster internet will bring an ideal gaming experience.
However, there is one catch. Whenever a technology takes birth, it comes with a multitude of challenges not limited to security, privacy, and reliability only. Although it is expected to be quite secure the mechanics of the systems will still leave some loopholes leaving us vulnerable to threats yet unknown.
As discussed, any powerful technology when takes the form of reality brings along some challenges and here are the challenges we can face in 5G.
The fastest cellular internet we have is 4G LTE that operates on established frequency bands below 6GHz. However, for 5G to operate, it would be needing frequencies up to 300GHz. The mmWaves can carry far more capacity and deliver 20 times more input as opposed to LTE’s fastest bandwidth.
However, there is a problem for all of us. All the wireless carries in the market will have to bid for the higher spectrum brands as they create and launch their respective 5G networks. There is a huge cost associated with getting higher frequencies. The bidding for the 28GHz frequency alone reached more than $690 million by December 2018 and this sum is likely to go higher as more and more sharks enter the competition.
Coverage and accessibility
Secondly, another challenge this new technology faces upon their introduction is the lack of infrastructure support. This is the reason people still rely on high-quality DSL providers like CenturyLink or choose from one of the impressive cable packages, for example, Spectrum packages that are widely available throughout the U.S., to fulfill their connectivity needs. Since the access to 5G still requires much investment and infrastructure but we are sure that 5G will bring us a significant increase in download speeds and bandwidth.
5G will be needing higher frequencies to operate and these frequencies will enable highly directional radio waves that can be targeted easily. This practice is called beamforming. The challenge being the 5G antennas. Although they’ll be able to handle more bandwidth and data they beam out over shorter distances.
Ultimately, getting access to 4G in rural areas will be a hell of a challenge.
The only way we would be able to help the situation is by installing antennas and base stations on buildings and homes. Large cities will have to install repeaters to spread out the waves for extensive coverage while being consistent with the speeds and bandwidth. Therefore, it seems that the carriers will be left with no option but to use lower-frequency bands for coverage until the 5G network matures.
Undoubtedly, modems and Wi-Fi shall be replaced by hardware to bring 5G connections into homes and businesses, changing how we get internet forever. However, the rural areas will have to endure most of the unavailability of infrastructure and will have no access any time soon.
Let us assume we get 5G access but to support that, the smartphone industry will have to cope up to meet the shifting requirements of the market. Right now, there is a lot of hype and talk about 5G enabled smartphones, but to be honest, they will be quite expensive for manufacturers to make and ultimately the consumers will have to pay large sums to get the devices to enjoy this technology.
Many carriers in the US and Japan have been successful in launching 5G pilots in selected cities and manufacturers have confirmed the launch of 5G compatible devices in the market.
We will have to build the 5G network from scratch and we have already discussed that how building a network infrastructure is expensive. Carriers will be forced to raise the prices to make up for the high initial investment on 5G plans. It is not as simple as just adding a new layer on top of the existing network but it is about laying the groundwork for something new altogether.
These are the challenges 5G network is likely to face in the future but we’ll be able to find a solution for all these problems provided that we have the will.