5G Network: Its significance and applications

By Mamata Saha

Introduction: What do we understand by 5G?

5G is a new addition to wireless mobile networks worldwide. It’s referred to as 5G because it’s the fifth generation of networks following 1G to 4G. What’s so special about 5G, you might ask? Well, 5G has been created not just to increase speed but also to lower network latency, or the time taken for data transmission from one communication point to another. As a result, business applications and online interactions such as videoconferencing, will run faster. In addition, 5G aims to enhance the flexibility of wireless services.

Today, we come across many rural areas that are so remote that no network can reach them. Or we hear of cities where the demand for wireless networks outweigh the supply for it, especially when we consider the speed capacity of 4G. While 4G has a peak speed of 1 Gbps, 5G is five times faster, at 20 Gbps! With 5G’s speed, lower latency, and flexibility, let’s hope it’s able to reach places that 4G couldn’t!

How does 5G operate?

5G technology will incorporate an entire gamut of new technologies. For instance, 5G New Radio is the worldwide standard for a highly efficient wireless air interface that will feature in 5G, and include spectrums beyond the scope of 4G. Additionally, a technology known as massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) will be used in 5G technology through antennas. This system will enable numerous transmitters and receivers to convey a larger quantity of data simultaneously. 

At the same time, it’s important to mention that 5G won’t confine itself to 5G New Radio but will incorporate a multitude of licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies. How will they help? Besides having an edge in terms of speed, 5G will help transmit a much larger amount of data in very little time. Users will gather in flocks to use the technology and get a chunk of their work done in no time! Last but not least, digital experiences such as video gaming will become a more satisfying experience through 5G, courtesy of ML-driven automation!

How is 5G an improvement over 4G?

While it’s being claimed that 5G is way ahead of 4G, we’re sure there’s some evidence to back the statement. Is there? Let’s find out. Several factors make 5G a substantial improvement over 4G and they are:

  • 5G has higher speed levels compared to 4G

Speed is a deal breaker when it comes to mobile connectivity, so when 5G has speed levels that can give 4G a run for its money, it’s worth looking at. 5G’s speeds can go up to 20 Gigabytes – per – second (Gbps) in terms of peak data rates while average data rates can hover around 100 or more Megabytes-per-second (Mbps). 

  • 5G has higher capacity than 4G

The 5G technology has been created such that it can support traffic increase worth a 100 times more, and simultaneously maintain an efficient network.

  • 5G’s unified platform is superior to 4G

4G was designed to provide superior mobile broadband services compared to 3G. However, 5G’s design is more comprehensive in nature because it not only aims to provide exceptional mobile broadband connectivity compared to 4G but also includes several other services like massive IoT and mission-critical communications. 

  • 5G’s latency levels are way lower than 4G

5G has lower latency levels than 4G as a result of which it’s able to provide immediate and real-time access to data. This essentially means that the time taken to process information is much faster in 5G than in 4G.

  • 5G’s usage of spectrum is a couple of notches higher than 4G

5G technology makes optimum use of spectrum that covers a range of spectrum paradigms and bands. In other words, it includes low, mid, and high bands. Low bands include less than 1GHz while mid-bands include 1 GHz to 6 GHz. Finally, high bands are referred to as millimeter wave (mmWave).

Application and impact areas: 5G

With the excitement and anticipation going through the roof in equal measure, one wonders what application areas 5G will prove the most useful. According to the latest claims, 5G is a pervasive technology that will positively influence people, places, and industries. How? Why don’t we look at a few instances of the areas 5G might prove invaluable to societies, industries, and people? For starters, let’s look at societies. 

  • 5G will lead to smarter electricity grids that will significantly lower carbon emissions and help the environment breathe.
  • 5G will help a larger number of vehicles exchange data, remain connected, and alleviate road accidents.
  • 5G will link multiple sensors that will be able to predict natural calamities, facilitate evacuation, and essentially, save tons of lives.
  • 5G can help physicians examine patients remotely and suggest suitable courses of treatment.

 Moving on to industries, which are key to generating profits and revenue, let’s look at the areas of application.

  • 5G can help digital replicas detect machine defects in advance and issue a warning.
  • 5G can track every single item stored at warehouses and ports.
  • 5G can help people access robots and vehicles remotely to enhance safety measures in hazardous environments.
  • 5G can lead to elevated levels of IoT use in agriculture to grow better crops.

Last but not least, let’s explore the areas 5G can make a difference to the lives and experiences of people. 

  • 5G will ensure more realistic and natural experiences with AR, VR, and extended reality (XR) through devices that are lightweight.
  • 5G will share more immersive content that will help teachers alter their delivery styles,  making students more curious, involved, and receptive towards subjects and concepts.
  • 5G will ensure a higher level of productivity for people working remotely, through immersive virtual meetings.
  • 5G will help people gain experiences through the physical senses, such as touch, using specific devices. 

5G: Relecura’s contribution 

Relecura is synonymous with AI-driven IP and innovation tools. A mix of these tools can share a ton of information related to today’s latest technologies. To begin with, we can use the Enterprise Web Tool, Relecura’s most coveted patent search and analysis tool, to create a patent landscape report that covers core aspects of a technology including patenting trends, top companies, patent reassignments, key patents, and a host of other critical information. To show you the range and varied nature of the data fetched by these tools, let us share a few relevant images.

Fig 1: This image shares data on the total number of 5G patent documents, the publication types, IP types, and the Star Ratings awarded to a bunch of different patents.

Let us take a minute to draw your attention to a unique feature of Relecura, which is the Star Rating system (as mentioned in Fig 1). Every patent occupying a place on Relecura’s database is automatically assigned a star rating. To derive the rating, a predefined formula that considers parameters such as forward citations, claims count, backward citations, independent claims count, and so on, is used and is then assigned to a patent.

Fig 2: This table shows the top assignees (companies) holding 5G patents and their respective star ratings. The ratings range from 0.5 to 4.5, 4.5 being the highest.

Also, should you be interested in finding out the top countries across the world that have owned patents over a period of time, the landscape report will share the relevant information with you, as evident in this image.

Fig 3: This table shows key countries and patent bodies globally that hold the maximum number of 5G patents over a 13-year period.

Last but not least, TechTracker, another amazing product of Relecura’s, is an AI-powered tool that tracks technology trends and competitor intelligence, assesses different technologies, and shares data on emerging technologies and companies. If you’re interested in finding out about organizations that are up-and-coming in the field of 5G technology, TechTracker is what you need to use. Here’s an image that will throw some light on the points discussed earlier.

Fig 4: This table shows the emerging companies in the 5G technology space over a five-year period (2017 – 2021).

If you wish to delve into more details of 5G technology, please click here

Conclusion: When do we get to use 5G?

Theoretically, 5G seems to have carved its niche across the world. Practically, we want to be able to experience the wireless network to its full potential. So, the question we keep asking ourselves is how soon the service will be available for us to use. Interestingly, we should let you know that several countries have already commenced its service. Data reveals that at least 60 countries have launched 5G services. According to Qualcomm, global operators started 5G services in the first half of 2019, so it’s safe to say that it’s been making its presence felt for at least three years now! Additionally, key mobile phone manufacturers have started producing phones with 5G technology. 

The rate of technology adoption is unprecedented, which means that people are enthused to use the technology, thanks to its increased speed and reduced latency levels. In a word, what stands out about 5G is its comprehensive nature, in the sense that it includes enhanced mobile broadband, massive IoT, and mission-critical services as part of its service depository!

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