A Brief Introduction
The advancement of human civilization has been marching on the back of technological evolution. Each successive generation of mankind has created a technology which would suit its own stage of development. We have had a Copper Age, Bronze Age and an Iron Age. The Second World War ended with the beginning of the Nuclear Age. This, in turn, gave way to the Telecommunications Age. 5G is a term that signifies the progress of successive generations of Telecommunications. The First mobile phone call was made way back in 1973. The advent and progress of mobile phones have completely transformed the world we live in. The term 5G is a combination of a Numeral and an Acronym. ‘G’ stands for ‘Generation’ and the Numeral 5 indicates the stage of advancement of successive Generations of telecommunication technology. 5G technology will offer unprecedented speeds allowing users to utilize network technology in new ways from online shopping to browsing popular hookup sites and adult dating apps. Picture browsing Free Fuckbook or your favorite hookup app while telling your computer to purchase movie tickets for you all at the same time with ease. This will revolutionize industries from dating and romance to ecommerce and housing.
Each Generation has been epochal. The First Generation or 1G, as it is now known, was launched by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) in 1979 in the capital city of Japan, Tokyo. Intensive coverage of the entire country of Japan by the 1G network was achieved by NTT within 1984. Other major countries, particularly the USA, noticed and understood the significance of the development by which young post-war Japan had set the standards in Telecommunication, to be followed by the rest of the world. The first American 1G operation was approved in the US in 1983. This was started with government approval of Motorola’s DynaTAC. Within a few years, the other advanced countries such as Canada and the UK had introduced the 1G network in their own countries.
The initial 1G technology could be faulted on several accounts. Apart from the rate of transfer of data, which peaked at 9.6kbps (kilobits per second) during this generation, and may even be considered as laughable today, there were many other problems. Spreading the coverage was a painfully time-consuming process and so sound quality was either interrupted or quite low. Different systems operated on different frequency ranges, and so could not offer standard roaming support. Intrusions and Hacking were both easy and common since the calls were not encrypted. But the popularity of 1G, in spite of the high price tags of DynaTAC (nearly US$ 4000 then, and valued at US$ 10,000 now), kept growing astonishingly. By 1990, DynaTAC alone had 20 million global subscribers. It is important to understand the performance of these earlier generations, in order to understand — What is 5G?
The 2G Social Revolution
The lessons learnt during the upward arc of 1G were encapsulated in a new standard, launched in 1991, by Finland. Many changes and developments were now included as standard. Digital Voice Calls was given a cloak of protection from external intruders, by Encryption. Digital Voice Calls were themselves made much clearer by the elimination of background, static and noise. The data transfer rate was also increased to the then astonishing rates of 40kbps. The analogue beginnings of 1G were totally replaced by digital techniques only, which not only allowed the speeds to rise sharply but also provided clear and error-free transmission of voice and data alike. Near its peak, the 2G transfer speeds were augmented by Edge Connections, in which speeds of up-to 500kbps was possible. Suddenly, the whole world was competing to adopt the 2G system, and not just technologically, but culturally the world was facing a new revolution. Telecommunications across the world was changed forever.
The Next Revolution – 3G
2001 marked the beginning of 3G. NTT DoCoMo of Japan introduced new and complete standards to be used by vendors as the network protocol. Web connectivity was standardized. Data could be transferred across any location continuously as ‘Data Packets’. International Roaming services were at last available to Users everywhere. Data transfer rates increased immediately to around four times faster than 2G. This sudden increase in data transfer led to the simultaneous introduction of services such as Video Conferencing, Video Streaming and VOIP (Voice-Over Internet Protocol). A typical example is Skype. The introduction of Blackberry and its powerful support as a personal business aid typified the 3G era. Apple entered the scene in the closing stages of 3G. In 2007, Apple first introduced network capabilities that were never even dreamed of before.
The Age Of Streaming – 4G
4G first entered the global picture in 2009. It was introduced as the LTE (Long Term Evolution) Standard for 4G, simultaneously in Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden. Extraordinary speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second were now possible for stationary Users. High-quality video streaming was available for all. Gaming services and Online Gambling mesmerized entertainment seekers internationally. HD videos created new perceptions both in business and in person-to-person communication. HQ video conferencing transformed world business. Minimum data rates of 100Mbps (LifeWire) was a massive jump from the 2mbps for 3G. It was a complete redesign of the 3G network architecture.
The Future with 5G
2020 will see the introduction of 5G. The target speeds for future 5G are a minimum of 1Gbps with a possible peak of 10Gbps. Power requirements at the same time should reduce rapidly, along with enhanced storage of data in the Cloud. Interconnection of vast numbers of devices and to the Internet will include a newly identified environment, which is now loosely being called ‘IoT’ or Internet of Things. IoT will enable extreme remote control of devices, intelligent homes and AI (Artificial Intelligence) driven offices. Stable robotic control through the Internet, with encrypted commands, will become commonplace. Massive storage of data with security safeguards in position, to prevent hacking, will be fully in use. Cloud computing will increase the power of individual operators enormously. Overall development and change in core functionality will be observed with extremely high dialling speeds, data transfer speeds and multiple device connectivity. This will be an era that will be knowledge-driven, instantaneously across the world, and the inter-stitching of the Web community into one whole technical and social establishment. Cloud computing, AI and IoT will combine together to completely redefine the world in the next few years, thus answering the question – What is 5G?