an image concept of 5g wireless network at the apex of a spedometer

4G Versus 5G Wireless Technology: The Road Ahead (Part 1)

Before talking about the future, we need to reminisce a bit. Remember when 4G technology was a pioneer

Before talking about the future, we need to reminisce a bit. Remember when 4G technology was a pioneer in wireless networking? Remember when everyone wanted the latest smartphone so they could stream videos, check Facebook or be the first to tweet about something the Kardashian’s did? Remember when everyone was excited about the latest-n-greatest and we all rushed out to get on the 4G bandwidth wagon – if you didn’t you weren’t one of the “cool kids”. Remember your first analog cell phone or bag phone with a curly “Q” car antenna (fake or otherwise)? Don’t kid yourself, you know you do! Now, we sit on the precipice of a new technological breakthrough in the form of 5G wireless connectivity.

What Is 5G Wireless Technology?

With big cellular conglomerates launching 5G cellular networks this year, you might be asking yourself–What is 5G? The G stands for generation, as in the 5th generation of wireless network technology. 5G wireless tech promises faster transfer rates, lower latency, and bigger bandwidth by orders of magnitude. However, Don’t get too excited just yet. Full utilization of 5G wireless networks is still out of reach for the everyday consumer.

The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G New Radio (5G-NR), isn’t compatible with 4G. However, 5G enabled devices will rely on existing 4G infrastructure where applicable until a connection to a 5G wireless network is possible. This whole effort is part of ongoing wireless connectivity’s evolution and is currently on target to meet the usage requirements outlined in the International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020). The requirements include such capabilities as a maximum achievable data rate of 20Gbit/s, 1ms Radio network contribution to packet travel time (read latency), and a total traffic coverage area of 1000 (Mbit/s)/m2.

an image of 5g wireless coverage in the us

An image of currently announced 5G wireless coverage from US cellar network providers. Source: PCMag.

How 5G Wireless Networks Will Impact Our Lives

Recently, I attended a seminar regarding the new 5G or “fifth generation” cell technology. It was an informative seminar shedding light on the future of 5G in the next five to ten years. As a primer to what’s ahead, 5G offers 10x the bandwidth and faster data transfers than current 4G technology (think wire speed through your cell phone)! Imagine streaming Netflix, Amazon or other online content with a fraction of the buffering time or downloads happening 10x faster. While something to certainly be excited about and cellular providers are licking their chops to charge you more money (for those of us still on a capped data plan), there are several hurdles and challenges to overcome before mainstream adoption takes place. Over the next few blog posts, I will outline areas where 5G technology will enter the market place and several of the biggest challenges facing world-wide adoption.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

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About Jason Claggett

Jason has been engineering complex hardware solutions and transforming outdated company networks into state of the art technology centers for over 15 years. His background with manufacturers and distributors focuses on the evaluation, recommendation, and implementation of technology solutions that enable automation. As a technology expert and senior consultant, Jason is skilled at installing and configuring Manufacturing Execution Systems, shop floor process improvement, and all matter of data interchange and digital automation for SMEs.