The widespread release of 5G wireless technology over the next several years is expected to spark one of the most important periods of technological advancement in the last century.
That’s because the rapid speeds offered by 5G will allow futuristic technologies, like self-driving cars and life-saving medical technology, to become available to the average consumer. Fortune 500 companies are already beginning to ramp up their hiring efforts and work with Latin American software outsourcing companies to meet anticipated demand.
Telecommunications companies have begun rolling out 5G service in select American cities–with most consumers expected to have access to 5G smartphones and other consumer devices by the end of 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/09/tech/5g-network-us-cities/index.html
However, 5G technology is about more than cell phones and fast download speeds. It will enable a whole range of futuristic technology to finally work as designed.
What is 5G?
5G is the latest generation of broadband cellular technology. The telecommunications industry typically upgrades its wireless networks once every decade. 4G was deployed to consumers in 2009 and companies began testing out 5G services in select North American cities in 2019.
Experts believe that 5G will have such a dramatic impact on consumer and business technology because of the way that it works in comparison to 4G. Traditional 4G networks use low-band spectrum waves to transfer data. This LTE service can provide moderate download speeds to customers across a wide geographic area.
However, the LTE spectrum itself is rapidly becoming exhausted in developed countries. This happens because too many devices are being used in a limited capacity. As a result, consumers are seeing reduced wireless speeds in major cities during peak hours.
5G, on the other hand, enables users to access incredibly fast speeds regardless of the internet traffic in their local area. It accomplishes this by using high-band spectrum waves. These waves have extremely low latency and allow download speeds up to 10Gbps.
Both businesses and software engineers are excited about the speeds that 5G will offer. Companies like Apple, Tesla, and Samsung, are expanding their in-house development capabilities and working with Latin American software development partners to build apps for these new devices. However, the technology does come with one major drawback.
High-band spectrum waves are only capable of traveling short distances and are unable to easily penetrate physical barriers like apartment walls. This means that cell phone providers must build a large number of small cell stations to cover limited areas. That’s also the main reason why 5G’s initial rollout is limited to densely-populated urban areas.
Autonomous Cars Are Nearly Here
Both individual consumers and businesses are looking forward to the autonomous car revolution. Science fiction movies have long predicted that the world will soon be full of self-driving cars–and 5G is the technology that will finally make that dream a reality.
Car companies like Tesla are already building self-driving cars. However, these early models have yet to meet their potential.
Current-generation autonomous cars, which use 4G technology, can operate without a driver in most circumstances. However, they are still limited enough that drivers are required to pay attention and be ready to take control at all times.
One of the main limitations of these cars is that their external sensors can only transmit so much data at a time. 5G, which offers speeds up to 100x 4G, will enable these sensors to transmit enough data for the car’s AI-driven computer to consistently drive without accidents, regardless of the traffic conditions.
In addition, 5G’s incredibly low latency is important as well. Low latency, or the speed it takes for data to travel between devices, means that sensors on autonomous vehicles will be able to transfer crucial information faster.
Independent experts predict that truly self-driving cars, or those capable of navigating new routes with high accuracy and a virtually-zero chance of an accident, will be available to consumers within the next ten years.
5G Devices Will Improve Healthcare Outcomes
One of the most exciting 5G applications is in the healthcare industry. One of the most difficult parts of a physician’s job today is helping patients overcome chronic diseases through lifestyle changes.
The most common types of chronic diseases found today are heart disease, metabolic disorders, and breathing problems. The vast majority of these diagnoses are preventable and, even once contracted, can be managed effectively through diet, exercise, and other small changes.
However, there is no easy way for a doctor to determine whether or not their patient is adhering to those lifestyle changes. They only have self-reported data to go off of. Fortunately, 5G technology will soon change all of that. That’s because 5G-enabled devices will be capable of transmitting vast amounts of important physical data to healthcare providers.
Physicians will soon be able to use data from wearable and implanted devices to determine whether their patient is eating right, exercising regularly, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol.
This type of data will also allow doctors to easily determine how medications and other treatment protocols are impacting patient health. They’ll have access to blood and urine counts, heartbeat and blood pressure data, and other valuable information.
5G devices will also help patients take control of their own health. These electronics will accomplish this by giving people useful information about their own bodies in real-time. They will be able to quickly see how many calories they are taking in, tell whether they are getting enough physical activity, and determine how different substances and types of food affect their vital signs.
5G technology is more than just the next generation of wireless technology. It is an ultra-fast network that will provide the type of high speeds and low latency necessary for autonomous and AI-driven devices to function smoothly.
Major telecommunications companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have already begun to offer limited 5G service in select American cities. This network should be available nationwide by the end of 2020 and 5G-specific smartphones will begin to dominate the market in late 2021.
The medical industry is already working to take advantage of the 5G revolution. Research companies and hospitals are collaborating with Latin American software development services to build 5G-enabled medical implants and software. In addition, auto manufacturers are beginning to use 5G to make truly self-driving cars a widespread phenomenon.