The promise of 5G comes true and the quality of communications is more relevant than ever. They are keys to making smooth videoconferences and facilitating teleworking, as well as improving the user experience in video games or turning the television into a home entertainment center.
Why 5G is relevant
It is the fifth generation of the mobile telecommunications standard. But it is more than an evolution. “5G represents a fundamental transformation in the role that mobile technology plays in society,” explains the GSMA association, which brings together the world’s leading operators. The three big improvements over 4G are higher speed, latency, and density. The speed allows, for example, to make video calls with the highest quality or to enjoy a full virtual reality experience. A lower latency, or responsiveness, is essential in video games and augmented reality. And the higher density allows, for example, the fluid use of data in events and large concentrations. A clarification: 5G services only work if the device you are using is also 5G.
How it affects you in teleworking
In these times we have realized the importance of having good teams and a good connection to work from home. In a framework where teleworking wins integers, 5G allows video calls with multiple users, avoiding pixelated images. Synchronization between video and audio, which is currently a headache, is guaranteed. Ultra-fast file downloading or heavy tasks can be done from anywhere. In short, the new technology increases productivity.
How it affects you at leisure
In crowds, such as a sporting event or concert, you can send video and comment live without fear of the connection being interrupted. And, if you are in a beautiful rural hotel without Wi-Fi, you can take advantage of a 5G coverage point to download the season of a series in a few moments. On high-speed trips, such as on the AVE, the connection will have greater endurance and, in general, the probability of service drop is reduced. “In a video game, your character is going to shoot the enemy and, suddenly, the image is stopped. The enemy shoots you and kills you. This is because the connection has not responded quickly, “illustrates José Antonio Portilla, member of the Governing Board of the Official College of Telecommunications Engineers.
With the new connectivity, virtual reality really enters our smartphones . This is how José Francisco Monserrat, professor at the Department of Communications at the Polytechnic University of Valencia explains it: “When you put your mobile very close to your eyes, the pixels do show. So we need phones with 4K resolution. And to download with this image quality you need 5G ”. In this field, Samsung has the widest catalog of 5G mobiles.
What will shopping and security be like?
5G will also open the door to new uses for our devices. The shopping experience in stores could be covered with augmented reality, which indicates the nutritional value of a food just by focusing on it with the camera. The wearables allow health monitoring medical level, in connection with healthcare facilities. Added to this is its usefulness for connecting home devices. “Having a home automation system with WiFi is a risk because this technology is quite insecure. So making the leap to 5G offers us better answers, more quality, and above all much more security,” says Monserrat.
Phones with 5G
The first smartphones with new technology have started to hit the market . And it is expected that the catalog of options will gradually be expanded. Samsung introduced last year its Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G models, as well as the Galaxy A90 5G, closer to the mid-range. The Galaxy S20, introduced this year, also features new connectivity.
When will it arrive?
It’s coming. In mid-December 2019, the 5G Observatory , published by the European Commission, had 181 pilots with the new technology in all 28 Member States. In Spain there are commercial deployments in 15 cities, with coverage between 60 and 70%, while further progress is expected throughout the year.
Is it a replacement for fiber?
Consulting firm McKinsey highlights that 5G technology is a viable alternative to cable broadband in some areas, especially rural areas. “The 5G base station has to be connected with fiber. But in the last mile that connects to the home, 5G is the substitute, “says Monserrat. “We said that 4G was the substitute for ADSL and it was. And 5G is going to be the wireless companion to fiber optics. “