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5G Networks

5G networks

Tired of waiting for your mobile device to load something over a slow data connection? The latest generation of wireless networking could be just what you’re looking for.


What is a 5G network?

5G refers to the fifth generation of wireless networks. 5G is designed to operate faster and more efficiently than any previous generation. It works by taking advantage of high and low-frequency radio waves to enable faster encryption and broader bandwidth. The system is based on having more cell sites that are connected to fiber optic networks, which allow for more specialized use within a given area. With the higher speed of fiber and the increased density of cell sectors, users can expect to get a 30% speed increase over existing 4G data speeds. 


How is it different from older networks? 

The current wireless system is made up of a combination of fading 3G networks and the more popular 4G systems. These network areas are structured with cell towers that cover a given range and interpret radio waves from the mobile devices in that territory. Signals are sent from the cell towers through cables to connect with the world wide web, and responses are sent from the towers back to devices. This process can be slowed by the possibility that all of the radio waves in a given area might be used up, the wired connection might be slow, and encryption takes extra time for older technology to process. 5G improves this old system in the following ways:

  • It makes use of radio waves above and below the standard area, which increases the bandwidth. 
  • It involves an improved encryption process that runs faster, allowing signals to be ready for transmission more quickly. 
  • More towers are installed to ensure there is always an available node for any device. 
  • Fiber optic cables connect towers and transmit data faster than older copper cables.

These and a few more technical improvements allow signals to be sent and received much faster than anything the old system could handle. 

Why is it necessary? 

Evidence that even the latest 4G networks aren’t quite fast enough can be found when you stand in a high-coverage zone and still can’t get the GPS to load on your phone. This occurs because the most common frequencies are in use for TV, radio, and cellular signals, which can make it difficult for your device to get enough bandwidth to download that video or upload a photo. 5G takes advantage of the fact that low and high frequency radio waves are not used as much since they’re more difficult to code into. Very low frequencies, down to 6GHz, are ideal for rural areas since they can travel great distances without much risk of disturbance. On the other hand, densely populated areas are the ideal places for higher frequency waves. Some cell providers are interested in installing cell towers every few blocks to allow users to take advantage of these short waves. 


Why do wireless networks require cables? 

All of these advances in wireless technology don’t seem to have much to do with the existing wired networks. Yet, cables remain the fastest and cleanest way to transmit accurate data from one place to another. For this reason, the new 5G towers are wired in. 5G is one of the aspects of telecommunication that is pushing for more widely available fiber optic cables, which can transmit data at near light speeds, much faster than radio waves and electric signals. 

Thanks to advances based on recent 5G research, wireless technology is about to get a lot faster. In the near future, mobile device users from rural to densely populated areas can expect to have increased bandwidth, which will allow them to stay connected no matter where they go.

Check out our last post: Fiber Optics Make 5G Possible

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