A consumer study found 58% of Americans don’t understand what 5G is. From Short and Sweet AI, I’m Dr. Peper, with an explanation of 5G.

What Is 5G?

5G stands for fifth generation cellular wireless. And it’s important to know it’s not just another “G” of 4G technology. It won’t work the same as 4G. 2020 is the year super fast 5G is expectd to have a slow roll out. That means the first 5G networks will be faster than 4G. But 5G won’t achieve it’s fastest speeds until companies complete the infrastructure. To get these benefits, users will have to buy new phones and the wireless providers will need to install new networking equipment.

How Fast Is 5G?

How much faster is 5G? Downloading a typical movie to your phone would take 17 secoonds with 5G compared to six minutes for 4G. 5G wireless will have connection speeds 10 – 20 times faster than the speediest home internet service. And it will be 600 times faster than typical 4G speeds on your phone today. 5G cellular technology uses something called millimeter-wave networks or mmWave. With mmWave, data can be streamed to phones at extremely fast rates but only over short distances. So a huge number of access points or small cell sites will be needed to transfer the signals instead of a few huge cell towers.

But is it only speed that matters?

There’s another speed, called latency speed, that’s perhaps even more important. The time between you asking Siri a question, searching the web, and getting a response will be faster. This is because of the lag time or latency speed with 5G is faster due to newer networking technology and more reliable signals.

Autonomous Vehicles

But does all this really make 5G revolutionary and justify the hype. Quite honestly, yes. Because it’s what this technology can now accomplish that’s so exciting. And this comes back to Iot, the internet of things which I discussed last time. The shorter latencies of 5G allow things connected to the internet to communicate directly to each other. MmWave technology allows thousands of things to be directly connected together at once.

This technology will truly kickstart fully autonomous vehicles. Remember autonomous vehicles which I talked about in a previous episode have no driver in the car unlike self driving vehicles with a steering wheel and a driver supervising. With 5G, cars are synchronized to traffic lights and each other. Future traffic has been described as being an elaborate street level ballet where cars flow like schools of fish in unison without colliding. There is even a new anticipated infrastructure called CV2X which stands for “cellular vehicle to everything”.

Virtual Reality

Because of 5G, IoT and something called edge computing, virtual reality becomes the new reality. With these 3 technologies, the perfect VR that exists today only in controlled scientific labs can now exist anywhere. These are perfect conditions for creating realistic representations of you with your specific tics and mannerisms. VR environments can be digitized and shared between users miles apart in real time. We will replace FaceTime with HologramTime. As we chat and interact with someone in their virtual world, they see us as holograms right next to them in their real world. We are one step closer to Ready Player One.

I’ve talked about IoT and 5G but the trifecta includes another technology called edge AI. In the next episode I’ll discuss edge AI and how AI is moving out of the cloud and on to the device and what that really means. As always, links to further reading, videos, and podcasts are in the show notes.

From Short and Sweet AI, I’m Dr. Peper.





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