The year is 2021, and 5G networks are becoming a new reality for us. Cell phone providers like Bell, Rogers, Telus have launched 5G networks across Canada, with more coverage coming later this year. Currently, Samsung and Apple offer 5G smartphones that work on all Canadian 5G networks. This technology allows consumers to download larger files wirelessly within seconds. 5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology that allows for this type of network. It was designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together, including our mobile devices. The reason for 5G was to deliver higher-multi Gbps peak data speeds, lower latency, increase network capacity, a better user experience, and so much more. One of the most significant benefits of 5G is the faster speeds combined with more reliable networks for all mobile devices.
Now where did this technology begin? How far have we come?
Remember analog phones back in the day? Cell phones began with 1G technology in the 1980s. But these devices had low battery life, and low voice quality, which led to many dropped calls. The approximate speed of the 1G network was 2.4Kbps. Then in 1991, the 2G network was launched. This was the first major upgrade as radio signals used by 1G network were analog, while 2G networks were digital. This advancement in technology introduced many of the fundamental services that we still use today, such as SMS, internal roaming, conference calls, hold calls, etc. The approximate speed of the 2G network was 50Kbps. Then in 2000, the 3G network was introduced, which set the standard for some of the most beneficial wireless technologies that we still use today. 3G allowed for internet browsing, email, video downloading, photo sharing etc. 3G also increased the efficiency of the frequency spectrum by improving how the audio is compressed during a call, so more calls can happen in the same frequency range. The approximate speed of the 3G network was 384Kbps. Then in 2010, 4G network was introduced. One of the biggest changes was the compatibility that 4G changed. A 3G phone couldn’t communicate through a 4G network, but newer generations of phones were always designed to be backward compatible. This means a 4G phone can communicate through a 3G device. 4G’s main purpose was to provide higher speed, quality and capacity to consumers. This allowed for video conferencing, 3D television, cloud computing, gaming services, and so much more. The approximate speed of the 4G network is 100Mbps or 1Gbps for low mobility communication.
Then in 2020, 5G network was introduced. This brand new technology promises faster data rates, higher connection, lower latency, better battery consumption, device-to-device communication and improved overall wireless coverage. The 5G network’s approximate speed is 35 Gbps, which is about 35x faster than 4G. It’s pretty clear why 5G is the advanced network. 5G networks offer faster downloads, lower latency, and better performance all around. As exciting as that is, Canada is geographically a big country and also has millions of people who need signal to communicate with their family and also for work purposes. Cell towers are still being upgraded to meet these new conditions. This new technology also has new limitations, and the complete roll-out of the new 5G network will still take a few years.
Will you be upgrading to the new 5G network?