AP Explains: The promise of 5G wireless – speed, hype, risk

In this news, we discuss the AP Explains: The promise of 5G wireless – speed, hype, risk.

A high-profile network upgrade called “5G” means different things to different people. For industry proponents, this is the next big innovation in wireless internet. For the US government, this is the core technology of a future that America will have to fight with China to control. For many ordinary people, it is simply a mystery.

What exactly is 5G wireless – and will you even notice it when it’s live? WHAT IS 5G? 5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks – the fifth, of course – that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency”, when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the Internet without confusing them. Ideally, 5G networks will be better able to handle more users, many sensors and heavy traffic. Before we can all use it, wireless companies and phone manufacturers need to get up to speed. Phones need new chips and radio antennas to work with the new network.

Wireless businesses are getting ready. They revamped their networking equipment, bought pieces of radio spectrum to carry 5G signals, and installed new 5G antennas on cell phone towers, utility poles, and street lights.

Wireless service providers will invest $ 275 billion in 5G-related networks in the United States, according to CTIA, an industry professional group. WHEN WILL IT BE AVAILABLE? A true US mobile rollout began in 2019, but much faster networks are still scarce. It will take a few years to become national, and even then more rural areas of the country will not be covered by the “millimeter wave” frequencies that promise the highest speeds and data capacities, said Michael Thelander, CEO of wireless consulting firm Signals Research Group.

However, beware of the confusion. Mobile carriers have a habit of rushing to hit the latest and greatest label on their networks, and this time it’s no different. AT&T has already applied the name 5G to a service that is not really 5G. Once the network is ready, you will need a 5G compatible phone to connect to it. Android versions have been out for some time and Apple launched its first 5G on Tuesday iPhone. But you can continue to use 4G phones. They just won’t connect at 5G speeds where they’re available.

WHAT CAN 5G DO? The promise of 5G is the subject of considerable hype. Industry groups say it will promote smart cities by connecting networks of sensors that can manage traffic and quickly identify street light failures. 5G could connect self-driving cars and power new applications in virtual and augmented reality. Its high-speed connections could enable better remote surgery and other telemedicine services, help businesses automate their factories, and provide businesses with dedicated high-speed internet channels.

“5G speeds and ever faster home broadband will mean that existing applications will grow richer, and new applications will emerge – new Flickrs, YouTubes or Snapchats. We don’t know what yet, ”Benedict Evans, partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a 2019 blog post. The most immediate impact on consumers is much less. There will be faster download speeds for movies and other videos. Thelander says your phone’s internet will work best in crowded places such as stadiums.

WHAT ARE THE SECURITY PROBLEMS? The 5G network is one of the fronts of growing tensions between the United States and China. The U.S. government is rooting Chinese telecommunications technology into communications networks over security concerns and has urged other countries to ban Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company, from building 5G networks. U.S. officials have suspected for years that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s network equipment to help it spy. Huawei has rejected such accusations.

News Highlights:

  • 5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks – the fifth, of course – that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency”, when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the Internet without confusing them.
    Phones need new chips and radio antennas to work with the new network. Wireless businesses are getting ready.
  • AP explains: The promise of 5G wireless – speed, hype, risk
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