What is 5G and what are the uses of this technological network?
Angela María Hernández Ortíz
The next step in the evolution of wireless cellular technology is called 5G. It is expected to start operating in Colombia soon.
What should you know about this spectrum renewal and how will it benefit your company?
The 5G network is the fifth generation of wireless cellular technology and is designed to offer an improvement in network connectivity, higher data transmission speeds, low latency, and greater reliability and coverage.
5G will enable optimal operation and functioning of new applications and use cases that were not possible with previous generations of wireless technology, creating new experiences for users. Among the main functionalities, we will have fixed wireless broadband, mobile broadband, device communications, and high-reliability communications.
In other words, we are on the verge of a new technological revolution, and it's best to prepare to reap all the benefits it will bring.
Exploring the transformative capabilities of the 5G network
Due to its high transmission capacity and fast connection, the deployment and enablement of the 5G network will facilitate the development and deployment of new applications and the enhancement and use of others, such as virtual and augmented reality, industrial automation, and autonomous transportation.
The low latency of the 5G network will allow for greater responsiveness in real-time critical applications, such as telemedicine and industrial automation.
The 5G network brings possibilities and challenges to various industries, including healthcare, education, transportation, telecommunications, and services. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the opportunities that arise and prepare for them.
In the healthcare sector, 5G technology will enable, among other things, real-time monitoring of critical health indicators such as blood pressure and heart rate. It will allow remote surgery and patient care by remote specialists, improving the quality and access to healthcare services for patients in remote or hard-to-reach regions.
5G will drive the adoption of autonomous vehicles, enabling them to communicate with each other and with road operators or traffic controllers, leading to safer and hopefully less congested roads.
In large industries and businesses such as ports, refineries, mines, and substations, the enabled applications are nearly limitless. This includes allowing the riskiest activities to be performed by devices, creating safer working areas for operators and workers, and making business operations more efficient.
Not to mention that fixed wireless access in 5G will be the alternative to achieve better network coverage for total connectivity in territories, as it is a technology that, when combined with current wireless and fixed networks, will achieve efficient deployment and coverage.
The Wireless Revolution: How 5G is changing the way we connect
The 5G network is changing the way we connect by enabling higher data transmission capacity and lower latency. This will enable new applications and use cases, such as virtual and augmented reality, industrial automation, and autonomous transportation. In addition, the 5G network will allow for greater responsiveness in real-time critical applications, such as telemedicine and industrial automation. The 5G network will also enable greater energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The 5G network and the Internet of Things: transforming our connected world
The 5G network and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming our connected world. We are experiencing constant growth in data transmission, which will only increase over the years. Therefore, businesses need lower latency, which will be achieved with 5G networks. This will also allow for more connected IoT devices and greater energy efficiency.
The combination of the 5G network and IoT will enable new applications and use cases in areas such as smart agriculture, smart cities, and smart manufacturing. It's best to be prepared for this transformation.
Unraveling the myths and realities of the 5G network: what you need to know
Now, let's talk about myths and truths:
Will Internet on mobile phones be faster?
Yes, it's true. You will be able to browse at speeds ranging from 1 Gbps to possible 10 Gbps.
Will virtual and augmented reality become a reality?
5G technology provides lower latency and faster speeds, making it possible to meet the technical requirements for a truly amazing experience for users.
Will it strengthen businesses?
It will renew and make them more efficient and secure. We mentioned earlier uses for telemedicine, industry, mining, and the automotive sector. 5G has a positive impact on business processes, strengthening the autonomy of certain production chains. It also improves the operational processes of businesses..
Will everything be done remotely now?
Not everything, but it's true that 5G networks will make remote work (a reality today) more efficient. It will even allow very specific matters that previously required physical presence to be conducted remotely. As we mentioned, it will enable remote management and activities that may involve risks to human integrity to be carried out through devices, sensors, and mechanisms that can act and communicate from anywhere in the world in real time, protecting people and critical facilities.
Successful business use cases: How the 5G network is driving innovation
The 5G network is driving innovation in many business sectors.
Ports use the 5G network to connect all machinery in real time, such as cranes, trucks, and containers, integrated with personnel operating the entire system from a remote control center, reducing accidents and optimizing processes.
Ship manufacturers use augmented reality to assist maintenance operators.
Universities offer immersive virtual education through 5G development.
In the manufacturing industry, 5G networks enable industrial automation and smart manufacturing, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
In the healthcare sector, 5G networks enable telemedicine and remote medical care, increasing access to healthcare and reducing costs.
In the energy sector, 5G networks allow for the monitoring and remote control of energy infrastructure, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
5G Network security: Challenges and solutions for reliable connectivity
Security is a significant concern in this new reality. The 5G network presents unique challenges due to its distributed network architecture and the large number of connected IoT devices.
It is important to implement appropriate security measures, such as device authentication and data encryption, to ensure reliable and secure connectivity. In addition, network service providers must work closely with device manufacturers and regulators to ensure the reliability of connections and security, for the peace of mind of all who will use these new information highways.
Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing the 5G Network
The deployment of 5G networks is undoubtedly a lever for the country's development and the closure of the digital divide. However, the major challenge will be to achieve coverage through the development and access to the infrastructure and spectrum that make it possible. The deployment should not be limited to major cities but should encompass a significant portion of the territory, in combination with existing wireless and fixed networks.
As always, the best way forward will be through synergy among operators, in the shared use and development of infrastructure. Deployment involves a higher density of base stations to provide adequate coverage, which means a significant investment in both infrastructure and technology.
In Colombia, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (Mintic) confirmed that by the end of 2023, there will be an auction of electromagnetic spectrum bands to complement the 4G networks and introduce new ones for 5G.
- 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band
- 10 MHz in the 1900 MHz band
- 30 MHz in the extended AWS band
- 30 MHz in the 2500 MHz band
- 320 MHz in the 3500 MHz band
The bet is significant and necessary for the innovation and economic growth of the country, supporting the growth of business sectors and closing the digital divide.
Angela María Hernández Ortíz
Electrical Engineer with 20 years of work experience in the telecommunications sector, has worked in areas of strategic direction, business development, and the development and enablement of new markets, segments, and products to be incorporated into them.