5G is the fastest-growing generation of wireless technology, and it's just getting started. As 5G steadily becomes a household term, many are still unfamiliar with what this new technology is. Though made popular for being a lightning-fast mobile network alternative, 5G capabilities go far beyond smartphone connectivity. Unlike generations before it, there are different "waves" of 5G — low, middle and high — depending on the availability of airwaves and the speed you get as a result.
While high-band coverage is the goal for most, it's a complex process that, though underway, will take time to perfect. Businesses and consumers are excited about what 5G can already do and have high hopes for what a 5G-connected world will look like in the not-so-distant future.
Let's look at the future of 5G and the role it will play in telecommunications development.
Right now, 5G is usually only mentioned in reference to cellphone networks and upcoming device releases. Though mobile advancements will likely be the first to be utilized by the public, mobile networks are only one part of telecommunications that will see 5G-related development.
5G awareness has started to spread faster with the release of new 5G-compatible devices from Samsung and Apple. While it's still too early to tell the full extent of 5G-enabled smartphones, manufacturers are touting this network as the next big thing in cellphone technology, claiming it offers a faster-than-ever user experience.
It's safe to assume that as more 5G devices are released, the consumer demand for similar devices will grow. By 2023, experts predict more than 1 billion users will have a 5G device in hand. Fortunately, this increased demand should also amp up production of 5G devices, which will likely lower the price point within the next decade. Right now, 5G phones are considerably more expensive than their 4G counterparts because of the technology used to build and support them.
But what does all of this mean for 4G? Will it become obsolete? Probably not. Industry experts foresee a coexistence between 4G and 5G, not a replacement. If anything, the increase of 5G users may improve speed and reduce latency for 4G networks, creating a more balanced divide among networks.
Streaming platforms are here to stay. One report suggests that between 2023 and 2025, entertainment and television will see the largest shift concerning 5G technology. This phenomenon could manifest itself in several ways, including an integration between augmented reality and television that requires the speed and stability of a 5G network.
It may also make special effects easier and faster to produce, allowing for boundary-pushing entertainment. This network speed and reduced latency will make it easier than ever for consumers to stream live-action events — including professional sports — without noticeable lag, which could cause an even larger shift from cable to streaming.
Within the next decade, 5G will hopefully assist in bringing internet connectivity to areas of the world that do not currently get signals, which will greatly aid those residents' personal lives and the financial, health and retail industries in those regions.
This widespread connectivity will impact lives in several ways, including:
As you've seen, telecommunications in the future will consist of 4G and 5G working alongside one another to bring people more convenience, safety, opportunity and entertainment. However, with this growing connection, there will also be a greater need for enhanced safety and security, as well as evolving 5G regulations.
Businesses will also need to adapt their existing models to suit a changing marketplace. While many companies have become comfortable and complacent in a 4G world, the growth of 5G calls for a stronger relationship and more transparency between the brand and consumer. This involves offering consumers improved safety and privacy on 5G devices.
Although 5G is just starting and has a lot of growth and evolution ahead of it, it is more than the latest technology trend — it is here to stay. The entertainment, business and education industries will keep 5G relevant, necessary and normal to our everyday lives. For some applications, particularly those in mobile connection and healthcare, 5G's importance cannot be overstated.
This will remain especially true as its reach extends beyond telecommunication and helps us advance toward things like self-driving cars, traffic management to promote clearer roadways and predictive maintenance for equipment.
What does this look like for today's businesses and consumers? Preparation. Worldwide 5G connectivity is not an overnight change, and it is only one part of a larger picture. For certain connectivity advancements to be made, many chips must fall into place, including previously mentioned security and regulation improvements. For consumers, early 5G adoption will help you stay ahead of the curve, learning and growing with the expanding network.
As a leader in the telecommunications industry, Multilink has the equipment you need to establish a strong 5G network in your home or office, including cabinets, closures, fiber assemblies and more. Interested in a custom-build or bundle option? Contact one of our engineers or product specialists today.
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