5G Wireless Coming in 2020

5G Wireless Coming in 2020

October 21, 20192 min read

2020 is the goal for launching 5G, a collection of technologies that is expected to increase cellular technology worldwide by 1,000 times the capacity, 100 times more devices and 10 times less delay.

“5G is about connecting everything everywhere, anything you can imagine,” says Mojtaba Vaezi, PhD, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Villanova’s College of Engineering, whose area of expertise is wireless communication, signal processing and information and communication technology.

Partly because of our changing habits there are applications that will need higher speed, and 5G will increase their capacity. “We’re consuming more and more data these days, so we need higher volume of data. The new generation watches TV online and plays games online. They want to select whatever they like and download it when they want it,” says Dr. Vaezi. “The speed of communication is going to increase about 10 to 20 times, so if it takes one minute to download a movie in your cell phone today, in a few years we’ll be able to download a movie in three to six seconds.”

4G technology has mostly been about connecting cell phones, but 5G will be about connecting all kinds of devices: Cars will be able to connect to other cars, traffic lights and cell phones; customers ordering online will be able to track their package as it travels across the ocean; trucks will connect to each other, sharing information such as if a route needs to be changed. There are many applications, from driverless cars to surgeries on a patient in one country done remotely by a doctor in another country, connecting thousands of miles away in just a fraction of seconds.

There are always challenges associated with new technology, however. In particular, 5G researchers worldwide have been working for a decade to increase the capacity and number of connections foreseen for 5G networks. In 4G and previous generations, each cell phone would transmit in distance frequencies, otherwise they’d interfere with each other. In 5G and beyond, cell phones may share their frequencies with other cell phones or devices, or we wouldn’t be able to accommodate the exploding number of new devices. This will introduce inter-device interference which is a challenge. Now, we have two or four antennas packed inside the phone. Soon, mobile towers and cell phones will have tens of antennas, further increasing capacity.

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