The highly anticipated “5G” or fifth generation cellular wireless network technology is finally here. But barely.

Companies all over the world are building the infrastructure required to create a full global rollout of 5G.

It is just like with 4G, expect that the deployment of 5G and its applications are progressing slowly and there is much more to be done until it is fully implemented globally.

5G is a sort of investment to come. It seems like the 5G applications will start to crop up roughly during the second half of 2019 and through to the next decade.

Currently, in the US, AT&T is leading the way in making US cities 5G compatible.

The tech giant had announced plans to put in place the 5G infrastructure across 12 cities by the end of 2019.

Other tech giants like Verizon and T-Mobile are also planning limited 5G rollouts in 2020.

In May, Verizon announced it would begin the switch to 5G in Los Angeles. Verizon also has plans to install 5G in Boston and other major cities as soon as possible.

And all that while AT&T is testing 5G capabilities in Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco, TX.  Sprint is taking the 5G evolution to NYC, Phoenix, and Kansas City.

And while the US is working on testing the 5G technology, South Korea has already demonstrated the use of 5G technology at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Other countries like Sweden, Turkey, Japan, and China are working hard to facilitate the transition to 5G.

5G’s high reliability and low latency will transform businesses operations and people’s interactions.

HOW FAST IS 5G?

The world’s functionality is progressively becoming dependent on the internet; thus, a reduction in time delay is crucial.

5G, being a software-defined network, will have 100 times better capacity than 4G. It will remarkably improve internet speeds.

So, for example, downloading a 2-hour movie on 3G takes approximately 26 hours, on 4G, 6 minutes, on 5G, it will take only 3.5 seconds.

Isn’t it incredible!?

5G will provide its users with faster response time, it responds to commands in just under one millisecond, and so you can expect the high-quality streamline experience.

5G will be the network that provides the responsive digital technology required to support the Internet of Things, linking and controlling robots, industrial equipment, agricultural machinery, and medical devices.

5 GHz vs. 5GE vs. 5G

With the explosion of 5G devices set to intensify, it’s essential to clear the air concerning the credibility of these devices. 5G devices aren’t expected to ship any time soon.

Therefore, 5G Wi-Fi or AT&T’s “5GE” phones aren’t 5G cellulars. The “G” stands for generation. And as for the 5 GHz Wi-Fi, the “5G(HZ)” refers to frequency bands.

5 GHz and 5G are two entirely different terms.

Wi-Fi operates on two various bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Since the 2.4GHz is the default for the majority of the Wi-Fi devices, it tends to get overcrowded, resulting in slower speeds.

The 2.4 GHz band has only three available clear channels usually shared by remote controls, Bluetooth, and microwave ovens.

5 GHz Wi-Fi runs much faster and has more available clear channels, despite running at a somewhat shorter range than 2.4GHz, hence the term 5G Wi-Fi, but it’s not 5G.

ND finally, AT&T’s so-called “5 GE” phones are just a rebrand of their existing 4G LTE networks.

Certain specifications define 5G. 5G NR (New Radio) is the set standard that fulfills these specs.

In the mobile universe, a generation means a compatibility break.

A change in generation means that you’ll need a new device. Unlike 5GE, 5G NR requires new phones and base radio station.

HOW 5G WILL BOOST RETAIL

It is crucial for enterprises to understand their consumers’ expectations. Naturally, a positive experience is vital for industries to succeed.

With the ongoing digital transformation and shoppers’ demographic shift towards younger generations, retailers will need to invest in their consumers.

Retail companies will need to gather and analyze data to provide its users with a more personalized experience.

A network with greater speeds, higher reliability, and low latency such as 5G will fully advance retailers’ needs and customers’ satisfaction.

5G will change how retailers interact with their customers as it can handle the required amount of data:

1. Hospitality

In the hospitality industry, the need to open hotel rooms with keys will be eliminated.

Instead, guests could use their mobile phones, which will be connected to the hotel’s wireless networks to open doors with just a click of a button on their phones or tablets. Guests could even adjust lights, window shades, and room temperature.

A positive experience will make sure that guests visit regularly.

2. Restocking

Real-time view of stock using IoT embedded sensors will lead to quicker response and restocking times.

This can potentially reduce the likelihood of unsatisfied customers and loss of revenue.

Smart shelves will alert you if you’re running low on stocks.

You will be able to send requests for new shipments quickly and verify them, hence keeping your shelves stocked at all times and your customers satisfied.

3. Future Dressing Rooms

Stores will collect valuable information about their customers every time they try on new clothing in the dressing rooms through interactive “magic mirrors.”

While in the dressing room, customers will be able to call sales clerks by the press of a button and ask for a bigger size or a different piece of clothing.

During the interaction process, you can seamlessly collect data such as email addresses, sizes, and style preferences. Through the use of this data, retailers can send their customers targeted ads.

IMPACT OF 5G ON THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY

Most of the time, you may need to travel to your nearest medical center whenever you are ill.

As for the people living in rural areas if the nearest hospital is located several miles away, it can be challenging and time-consuming to travel to the hospital.

However, the imminent arrival of 5G supports medical systems such as remote home monitoring and telehealth.

You will be able to receive medical care wherever you are, by taking a video call with your doctor, which will be boosted by the superfast 5G.

You could even make prescription requests which could be approved instantly.

1. Medical Imagery

In a hospital setting, MRI and other image machines have to be reviewed by specialists.

Transmission of these imagery documents could take a lot of time, and even lead to unsuccessfully sending, especially on low bandwidth networks.

In these situations, a patient has to endure long waiting periods for treatment, and doctors could only attend to a few patients.

Implementation of 5G networks will boost the rate of sending large imagery data files. Doctors can get the results on as soon as a patient leaves the scanner.

High-speed 5G will hasten patients’ access and improve the quality of healthcare.

2. Language Barrier

It’s often disadvantageous to Non-English speakers when receiving treatment in English-speaking countries.

The patient is sometimes unable to inform doctors of their medical history adequately, and this could lead to numerous problems.

Occasionally, medical institutions use language translators to help curb language barriers.

Modern centralization of language translators means that not all languages are catered for at any given hospital, thus leading to delayed patient care.

5G supports video conferencing which a translator can use to help patients communicate with their specific doctors though some are currently being used today 5G will make this process reliable, efficient, and easily accessible.

3. Telemedicine

Market Research Futures’ study reports that the telemedicine industry will grow yearly at a rate of 16.5% up until 2023.

The report further indicates that the growing demand for healthcare and an increase in government initiatives will stimulate the growth of the industry.

Occasionally a network that is suitable for transmission of real-time, high-quality video can prove benefits to the telemedicine industry.

Using 5G, healthcare systems can enable the use of mobile networks in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Patients will receive quicker treatment as 5G networks will boost the capabilities of this program.

Proper utilization of 5G technology can also enable doctors to operate with other staff members more efficiently.

4. Remote Monitoring

IoT devices help medical institutions monitor patients and gather data that is commonly used to polish up the quality of healthcare.

The use of monitoring technology, such as wearables is dependable upon the reliability of the network to manage the data.

Slow and unreliable networks can cause a significant delay for doctors. Doctors need a network that can quickly process the data required to make medical decisions.

5G technology will enable healthcare systems to provide improved remote monitoring for patients.

Healthcare providers will also receive the patient’s data in real time, and hence, they can provide them with the care that they need.

5. Artificial Intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence is becoming more common in crucial healthcare functions. AI is used to make decisions related to patient diagnosis and treatment plans.

AI can be used to forecast which patients are likely to suffer medical conditions pertaining to surgical operations as well.

AI will enable doctors to make early interventions when required. 5G networks are ultra-reliable, have high bandwidth, and they can allow healthcare systems, through the use of AI to provide high-quality care for the patients.

IMPACT OF 5G ON THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR

The transportation industry is one of the sectors that could benefit significantly from the introduction of 5G technology.

Adding 5G to already existing transport frameworks will make transport systems more visible and easier to control.

Most of it will be interconnected using 5G mobile technology. It will support various modes of communication that carriage companies use.

Some of the important functions are vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V): This is where vehicles transmit signals to each other, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I): here vehicles communicate with sensors present on roads, traffic lights, and bridges.

1. Safety and Reliability

Companies which own delivery trucks and public service vehicles could easily be able to keep track of their cars, and the ever-present city networks will enhance this.

These companies will be notified about their vehicles’ location, speed, and idle time spent, and the amount of fuel consumption.

Consequently, they can use this information to plan for vehicle maintenance, usage, and also rerouting. Due to the improved visibility of vehicles, transportation will be safer and more reliable.

Cars will be connected through wireless networks, and they can be able to stay in contact in emergencies and get notified in real time about present road conditions.

Drivers could also be able to use alternative routes when needed.

2. Unified Network Protocols

Currently, most local area networks have become almost dysfunctional, operating without paying attention to each other, as such, making it hard to serve applications throughout the city.

Cities can create single networks governed by standard set guidelines by use of integration gateways.

Integration gateways can be used to unify short-range communication networks. Unified network protocols will enable systems to efficiently communicate with a connected vehicle as it journeys between distinct access points.

To connect the public, especially in stadiums and other gatherings with buses and subways, public transport managers will require a network with a higher capacity.

Successful implementation of 5G technology in transport systems will enable cities to plan for daily traffic flows.

Traffic lights can adapt with traffic flow by fine-tuning lights, therefore, reducing unnecessary delays.

While on the highway, connected vehicles can share information between each other to warn vehicles behind of road and traffic state and safety.

5G-enabled transportation will certainly increase the efficiency of transport networks.

IMPACT OF 5G ON MANUFACTURING

Competitiveness in world financial markets is instrumental to manufacturers.

For manufacturing companies to increase their efficiency and maintain optimum profit levels, they will need to adopt new process innovations.

To improve their flexibility, they will need to incorporate the use of robotics cutting cables and warehouse transport with their industry.

5G technology and the Internet of Things will be vital in facilitating these advancements in manufacturing. 5G networks will also avail manufacturers with an opportunity to create smart factories.

These smart factories will be filled with sensors which will monitor different aspects of production.

The sensors will include connected tools which will be able to “communicate” with each other using different information – ranging from accelerometer data to location.

The manufacturing sector is significant for new revenue potential. With 5G, manufacturers can create new revenue streams.

5G’s low latency, high reliability, and bandwidth capabilities are essential in supporting applications and services such as industrial automation and virtual reality.

It will also support the ever-increasing data flow.

The high bandwidth and connectivity density of 5G technology will also provide factories with reliable and ever-present connectivity. 5G can enable new operational models when embedded in the industrial automation process.

IMPACT OF 5G IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY

The financial and banking industry has often spearheaded the adoption of digital technology.

The introduction of ATMs, online, and mobile banking has significantly improved the quality of financial services.

As technology continues to evolve, customers tend to seek for banking services that match current technologies consistently.

Therefore, financial institutions have to address the growing customer needs swiftly. 5G is tipped to assist financial institutions in providing new, innovative mobile services that will satisfy customers. 5G will help create new platforms that will enable customers to access banking services wherever they are.

A good example is a remote teller.

Customers will be able to carry out financial transactions through a video session on their smartphones. 5G will eliminate the need to travel to the nearest local branch.

Apart from enabling banks to secure its users’ accounts through data collection, 5G’s lower latency and high bandwidth will also help in collecting information with regards to user location and payment information.

Banks will be able to provide its users with financial recommendations through the acquired behavior data.

Automated financial assistants will prompt users about reaching their budget limits for particular services or advise them on new saving methods.

Using 5G networks, they could offer more relevant financial advice.

1. Wearables

Wearable devices are a promising focal point in financial services as they are progressively becoming an essential channel for mobile transactions.

Initially, wearables depended on local authentication and used biometric data to enroll fingerprints. They would then check these fingerprints against new scans each time users accessed the device.

2. Collection of Data

Nowadays, biometric checkers not only enroll fingerprints but also facial and voice recognition to behavioral analysis where the service authenticates the user by checking their typing patterns.

5G’s lower latency and high reliability will enable wearable devices to share biometric data with financial institutions.

Through cloud-based technology, analysis of biometric data will be done with more computing power – hence greater accuracy.

3. Benefits to Insurers

5G will enable financial professionals to create more efficient back end processes.

Fast 5G connectivity will allow damage evaluators in the insurance industry, to swiftly send photos to their respective offices, without necessarily waiting to go back to their office.

Artificial Intelligence, when combined with claims adjustment processes, will ensure insurance companies to attend to their customers quickly.

OTHER SECTORS SET TO BENEFIT FROM 5G’S DEPLOYMENT

1. Equipment vendors

When mobile operators invest in 5G network equipment such as radios and antennae equipment, vendors will significantly benefit.

Vendors with more control on intellectual property will get the best of these opportunities. Current legal frameworks could prove beneficial to the US and European vendors more than those in Asia.

2. Spectrum owners

Spectrum is the airwaves that carry communication signals. Spectrum owners commonly own licenses to transmit signals across these airwaves.

The rise in demand for 5G will benefit spectrum owners.

3. Cellular tower owners

Existing towers will potentially be used to deploy 5G equipment. Data demands will be the highest and most concentrated in urban areas.

5G’s effectiveness will need deployment of more cell towers across multiple towers. Cell tower owners will potentially have high profit from this.

SECURITY CONCERNS

The rapid expansion of IoT devices means enormous security challenges. Improved network speeds will benefit users, but it also sparks an opportunity for malicious attackers.

5G will boost IoT’s involvement in real-time enterprise systems, hence Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks will tend to increase.

Additionally, since IoT devices won’t be connected to a central network in a hub-and-spoke configuration, any device can be a weak link, thus exposing the entire enterprise to risk.

Naturally, it will take a lot of time to be corrected.

With the advent of edge computing, security concerns posed by 5G networks can be addressed. AI can automatically detect and predict activities of automated attacks.

Potential health risks

The rapid growth and increased dependency on wireless technology have sparkled increased public exposure to higher Radio Frequency (RF) radiation levels.

The IoT is set to be powered by short high-frequency wavelengths. Continued exposure to RF radiation poses a grave danger to public health and safety

THREATS POSED BY 5G CELL TOWERS

The planned switch to 5G is currently underway around the globe. Minicell towers are set to be installed around our homes and cities.

Cell towers emit RF radiation, which will significantly increase our exposure to it. 5G is an ultra-high frequency, and this is what makes it even riskier.

Several scientific studies conducted on exposure to the RF radiation reveal that longer exposure time causes sterility in men, cancer, and damage to DNA. In 2011, WHO termed RF radiation as “likely to cause cancer.”

Unlike other networks which use frequencies between 1-5 GHz, 5G uses 24-90 GHz. When you look at the electromagnetic spectrum RF radiation is the part between the radio waves and microwaves, which means that the higher the frequency, the riskier it becomes to living organisms.

Electromagnetig Spectrum - 5G

Source: columbia.edu

With RF radiation, your closeness to the source of radiation itself is more important than the radiation level. A closer low-power exposure is more dangerous than a high-power exposure miles away.

However, exposing yourself to radiation for prolonged periods of time is more hazardous to your health.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Mobile connectivity is essential to both consumers and businesses. The arrival of 5G will have an enormous impact on humankind. It will cause many disruptions in our workplaces and our livelihood.

5G is expected to provide more reliable connectivity and faster data transmissions hence improving business utility and customer experiences.

It will support self-sustaining human establishments such as autonomous cars, connected cities, virtual reality, and even robotics.

In spite of these benefits, many scientists have expressed their concern about the dangers of exposure to radiation.

However, we expect mobile service providers to address these problems.

The future is 5G!

Finally, 5G is here – but so what about the implications

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