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Who’s Winning? A Race To 5G Network

5G Network

FindItMore | The human race has always wanted to excel. Not in a particular field but in everything they do. This inquisitive nature is the epitome of all the discoveries and inventions ever made. First in line would be basic tools but the thing that really put the human race on this track was the invention of the wheel. The wheel made jobs easier. This was convenient and efficient. The primitive man was certainly hooked on making an innovation to make life easier.

The needs kept growing and innovators and engineers kept working. The need to communicate remotely grew and telephone led to wireless phones. This then raised the bar and calculations needed to be done at a much faster pace. Calculators and computers were formed.

Outdoor sports were not enough and video games come into the fold. Basic programming helped innovators to come up with games that would entertain children and elders alike.

The gaming industry grew and consoles, complex games and networking were introduced. You could play sitting at your home with people around the globe. The demand for faster communication grew that lead us to develop faster internet. Again the innovators were pushed to come with bigger and better. Every time faster and better inter emerges, someone comes up with something that eats up the speed and demands more. This hunger continues and we have come to see different generations experience faster means of communication. Here’s a brief history of the internet generations. We’ve also included a little extra to let you know about the latest news on the newest member of these generations.

Four Generations

The internet story can be divided into four generations. Starting with the digit one followed by the letter G. This tells you the name of the first of these generations. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

• 1G

1G dates back to 1970s. Slow progress meant little to no users. It took 20 years to fetch 20 million subscribers around the globe. A million subscribers a year is slow. This era was not much about innovation and marketing. This era was about coming up with names for the newly formed technology. The terms like “cellular” and “cell phone” come from this era. This was merely a jump from wired to wireless phones.  Honeycomb cells would use same frequencies to ensure connectivity. 1G era was about analogs to stabilize connections.

The innovation of GSM is the highlight of this era. GSM was the key innovation of this era. Voice calls were the only available service. These calls were made using towers that exchanged data packets to deliver this service.

• 2G

GSM technology was the groundwork for 2G. 2G along with GSM was a force unstoppable. The partnership of the two help introduce text messaging service in 1993. Text messaging service was a milestone. It transformed into voicemail and other such services.

Introduction of the messaging service in 1993 was followed by silence. There was relative silence for the next few years. Late 90’s turned out to be the era of change. Introduction of mobile internet was the new thing in town. Commercial use of the mobile internet was made possible by WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). Mobile internet glorified mobile phone technology. These mini PCs were available in the market sometime around the year 2000.

Internet on a mobile phone was impressive. The absence of touchscreen phones was an issue. Navigation was difficult and there was not much on the mobile web anyways. This is the reason for WAP’s short life. EDGE was WAP’s replacement and was a great success.

• 3G

Approval from the International Telecommunication Authority makes 3G different. The approval and launch dates back to 2003. 3G was not just different but better as well. Greater bandwidth and higher speeds meant undoubted dominance of 3G over its predecessor. These high speeds are the ones to blame for the introduction of smartphones.

Speeds up to 21Mbps were good enough to handle all the games and data needs of the time. Wireless connectivity with such speeds was the encouragement that the app developers needed to develop games for mobiles. 3G was safer than 2G because of Permit-validation. Greater bandwidth meant crystal-clear voice calls. This was a stepping stone towards HD video calls and teleconferencing.

• 4G

4G was at the end of a few issues. This caused a delay in its launch. Unmet standards meant that 4 G will not be launched on the desired time. Transmission rates and security were not at par. Introduction of Internet Protocol ensured safety standards were met. Filling the gaps lead to the launch of 4G in 2008.

OFDMA multiplexing techniques ran this generation. Improvement in voice quality meant smoother and distortion free voice calls. This technology also helped with latency issues. Technologies like WiMAX and LTE are part of the 4G family.

Newest G in the market

4G speeds are impressive but so was 3G at its prime. It is rare to find a newer version or generation worse than its predecessor, right? New games heavy files consume all the speeds that the new generation has to offer.  Heavy graphics, HD videos, and larger files. They all eat up the bandwidth that we once consider good.

4G was impressive but it is about time that we see a new face. We present to you the newest generation, 5G!

• Expectations

Not much is known about 5G. Details might not be out yet but the expectations for sure are high. Fast connectivity and high speeds are the obvious improvements to look for. Every generation assures lower latency. The same will be the case with 5G. Gigabit speeds are just around the corner. Blazing download speeds with no lag. Perfect, right?

• Technology

Data transmission happens using a system of cells. These cells make up small territories for data distribution. 5G uses radio waves to transmit data. Cell sites have a connection to a backbone network. The cells can also have a wireless connection with the backbone.

1. Frequencies

5G uses radios wave to transmit data, this we already know. A frequency is set like a radio, but the data exchange here is two way.  We know that data transmission in 5G takes place using radio waves. 5G uses frequencies above and below 6GHz. It will also use the existing Wi-Fi bands. How will it be faster then? Flexible coding and channels are the answers. These two enable 5G to be faster than its predecessor.

5G can use a wide spectrum of frequencies. The real deal, however, is the 5G bands using higher frequencies. The existing frequencies have a load of their own. Higher frequencies are not used for commercial purpose. This enables additional channels to help upgrade to 5G.

2. Encoding

4G use OFMA multiplexing. 5G is somewhat similar and uses OFDM. Simply put, the air interface in 5G carries greater efficiency. Resultantly, greater speeds and lower latency than 4G.

We know that 5G uses smaller cells. What’s cool is that 5G cells are capable of changing sizes and shapes. This reminds us of AI, self-improving systems. That was the complex back-end part. 5G speeds can simply be higher by merely upgrading antenna towers.

Who is leading the race?

With details out of the way. Let’s take a quick look who is leading this race of introducing 5G.

Countries to launch 5G

We know that humans are competitive. Many countries are in competition to become the first one to launch 5G. Service providers. We’ve listed a few leading countries in this race.


The USA is certainly among the front runners of this race. Spectrum holding is not the only advantage they have over others. They also lead the path in spectrum efficiency and re-purposing broadcast spectrum for broadband. However, local authorities hold power over zoning cells which form the network. This may be a hurdle in winning this race.

FCC opening high GHz frequencies for wired and wireless broadband was a sigh of relief. This is a fresh breath of air. Many vendors and service providers are collaborating. Test runs and optimization of 5G is the goal in sight.

• China

China does not seem to be too far behind. According to a GSMA estimate, China will be a forty percent shareholder in 5G connections worldwide. According to China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, 5G may take 3.2% share in the GDP of the country. This encourages new companies to enter the market by presenting a large number of employment opportunities.

• South Korea

Companies are already in competition with each other in South Korea. Who will be the first 5G network in South kores is the question. According to rumors 3.5 GHz and 28GHz frequencies may be deployed for the launch. The government aims to run a trial in Bo Kwang, Gangneung, Jeongseon, Pyeongchang, and Seoul.

• Japan

How could Japan stay behind in a technology race? There are rumors that a couple of companies have demonstrated an advanced security service using 5G network technology. The aim is said to determine the effectiveness of the service in handling security for the opening ceremonies of the 2020 Olympics. They have also had a trial involving the use of drones, HD 4K camera, and smartphones as well as artificial intelligence (AI).

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