A key aspect of 5G technology is it isn’t something that is just under development. On the contrary, it exists in the here and now. But what we experience with 5G today will not be the same as the impact it will have on our lives tomorrow.
This impact will change the systems, networks and devices that we depend on, both in business and as individuals. One critical facet of 5G technology will be testing and measuring networks for their resilience, reliability interoperability and vulnerabilities.
What is 5G?
As its name indicates, 5G is the fifth-generation mobile network. But it is not simply a successor to 4G; rather it is a new kind of network altogether.
What it promises is total connectivity: everyone and everything, including machines, devices, appliances, vehicles and critical infrastructure.
5G wireless technology offers ultra-high peak data speeds, very low latency, massive network capacity and increased availability. Many more users should experience a uniformly high quality of connectivity and usability.
This enhanced technological capacity will help to connect and drive new industries.
What Does 5G Currently Do?
Broadly, the current uses of 5G cover three main areas:
- Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB)
- Critical communications
- Internet of things (IoT)
5G technology enhances the mobile experience, but its rapid and more uniform data rates, low latency and lower cost-per-bit also will make immersive augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences more accessible.
Already, 5G technology is enabling new services to transform industries, such as autonomous vehicles. The internet of things is a phenomenon that is growing, and 5G is supporting and powering its spread. 5G networks are now being established across the UK, but currently 5G coverage does not reach all the parts of the regions and cities.
What Will Change?
Networks are evolving, and the growing power of computers is pushing investment, initiatives, ideas and infrastructure ahead in cyberspace. The internet has grown exponentially, but it needs the capability and capacity to continue to meet this increasing demand.
This is what 5G can provide. It will reduce maintenance costs and energy consumption, while offering speeds up to 100 times faster than typical 4G technology.
Different carriers will employ different types of 5G technology, but ultimately what this is about is offering much greater capacity and larger slices of the available spectrum. These changes remove previous limitations to connectivity, functionality and network development.
This, in turn, means opportunities for using these changes to drive improvements in different industries and areas of business. An immediate impact will be how we interact with technology via broadband connections.
5G adds a whole new spectrum of available bandwidths to meet, and exceed, demand. Things will get a lot faster, and more devices will be able to connect, and interact simultaneously.
5G’s Impact on Industry and Infrastructure
IoT is the interface between the digital and the physical. While we can equip devices and appliances with sensors that enable communication and connectivity, they need data capacity.
5G will provide ample resources for this, giving businesses and households the speeds and latency that multiple smart devices require. Remotely managing things like climate control systems and essential equipment will be seamless and swift. This has huge implications for industry and automation, with the potential to accelerate AI and machine-to-machine communications.
The autonomous vehicle is another technological development which will benefit significantly from 5G’s increased speed and capacity and low latency. Vehicles of the future will provide constant performance and security data and metrics, not just to their occupants, but also to manufacturers.
5G paves the way for the concept of smart cities to move from the theoretical to the practical.
This will involve a whole range of applications, from monitoring air quality to managing traffic flow and energy use. It will be critical in crowd management and in looking after utilities and other critical infrastructure.
Modelling, Measuring and Testing for the Future
With the vast potential of 5G comes the need to ensure the reliability, resilience and security of networks. A key way of achieving this is through advanced, but user-friendly, simulation and emulation platforms.
These will test how networks function and respond in different conditions that mimic real-world scenarios.
ST Engineering Antycip and its partner SCALABLE Network Technologies provide versatile and highly accurate network simulation and emulation tools and cyber defence solutions helping businesses adapt to the 5G era.
For more information, please contact us.