When first announced, 3G connectivity and speeds were like a godsend to us as our surfing times were much faster. Then along came 4G LTE, offering even greater speeds and connectivity.
Next Up, We have 5G
The next iteration or 5G has been in the works for some time now. There have been talks of countries testing 5G speeds but apart from that, no other news has made the headlines. While people argue about the spectrum at which internet is accessible, others argue about bandwidth and speed. Through all this though, no one still knows the exact definition or specification of what 5G is. Until now.
The ITU or International Telecommunication Union has published and made available online a draft for the proposed 5G specs to give the general public a rough idea of what performance can be achieved with 5G connectivity. According to the paper, users are theoretically supposed to get 100Mbps and 50Mbps for downloads and uploads respectively. This is more of a baseline rather than the actual speeds you would be getting.
Apart from the increased downloads and uploads, the new standard would also see and extremely low ping of no more than 4ms as compared to the 20ms seen with 4G LTE. Even if you’re travelling on a really fast train averaging a speed of around 500km/h, you should still get connectivity speeds as fast as a standard home internet connection.
From an ISP and Telco point of view, we’re talking a minimum of 20Gbps downstream and 10Gbps upstream to share with users. In addition, 5G should also be able to handle almost 1 million or more devices per square kilometer. This possibly refers to the Internet of Things (IoT) and not just a million smartphones in that area.
Apart from that, 5G radio interfaces would need to be energy efficient under load, but also switch to a low power mode when not in use as well.
The specs can change over time and what the ITU finally approves may change radically when they meet up in November. But for now, it pretty much gives people an outline of what specifications that they would need in order to handle a 5G network. Telco operators, specially would find these standards of great interest. For example, how would they achieve the peak data rates of 20Gbps? What is the spectrum block that 5G would use? All these and many more questions would be asked. I guess we would have to wait for November for the answers. We know one thing though: Fast internet is about to get faster.