It is not only the health sector that will remember the year 2020 (Covid-19), the technological sector too, with 5G. In fact, the deployment of mobile communications technology from 5e generation is expected this year even in several countries.
But this one still generates a lot of debate on, not only its novelties and advantages, but also on its possible health dangers.
Here is what you can take away from the novelties of the 5G network, its characteristics and how it works. Its compatibility with mobile phones and its possible danger to health.
- 1 What is the 5G network?
- 2 The uses, characteristics and novelties of the 5G network
- 3 Deployment of 5G technology
- 4 What is the difference between 4G and 5G?
- 5 Which devices are compatible with 5G?
- 6 Dangers of the 5G network, What impact on health?
- 7 What about 6G, 7G and 8G?
What is the 5G network?
5G for 5e Generation, it is a mobile communications technology that will succeed 4G. As you probably already know, there is also 3G, 2G, which are older generations of mobile communications standards. 2G is, until now, the standard in force for voice communications.
To take a step back, 1G made it possible, in the 1980s, to take the first steps in mobile communication with analog signals. 2G followed or even GSM (Global System for Mobile) with the abandonment of analog for digital, then 3G or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems). 3G then gave way to 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution), which already sees 5G on the horizon.
Very revolutionary in terms of novelties, 5G technology promises to change all our communication habits, with the transmission of data at very high speed (of the order of several Jig per second).
The uses, characteristics and novelties of the 5G network
Among the strengths and novelties of the 5G network, let us note its low latency, its download and data transmission speed. With the use of millimeter waves and 5G Sub-6 waves, it promises speeds almost 10 times higher than those of its 4G predecessor.
It will thus offer speeds of up to 20 Gigabits per second. Which would be a major boost for many areas such asIOT (Internet Of Things; Internet of Things), with the use of more connected devices.
As a reminder, the waves millimeter, still called mmWave, are those whose wavelength is very narrow. Waves 5G Sub-6 are those with frequencies below 6 GHz.
One of the novelties of the 5G network is also the possibility of obtaining images in very high definition for the Streaming and the field of online cinema. But also the possibility for video game enthusiasts to play online games at a very high speed. A real revolution in the world of cinema and 3d development.
In areas such as telemedicine, the high speeds of 5G will be very beneficial. Doctors will be able to perform interventions on patients remotely without interruption and with a latency corresponding to that of 4G divided by 10.
The speed of 5G will also facilitate the development of augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and several other branches of artificial intelligence such as robotics, etc.
Other features and novelties of the 5G network
Among other novelties of the 5G network, let us note the use of the function network slicing and technology Massive MIMO. Network Slicing allows network separation according to real-time needs.
Massive MIMO meanwhile, allows better coverage of high demand areas such as airports, markets, etc. Massive MIMO technology enables increased data rates, which automatically reduces latency and increases the quality of communication.
5G also uses technology called Beamforming. Already integrated in 4G and Wi-Fi, Beamforming allows signal filtering and creates a direct connection between the point of emission (antenna) and reception (terminal). It thus makes it possible to reinforce the power and the stability of the signal.
Deployment of 5G technology
In some countries such as Switzerland, it is since 2019 that the deployment of 5G has started. For several other countries, the arrival of the 5G network is expected in late 2020 (in France) and early 2021.
The implementation of the 5G network actually depends on the level of involvement of the government in your country. The operators will then have to obtain the license to use the technology.
If you live in a country that does not yet plan to deploy this technology, you will have to wait a few more months, or even several years, to hope to benefit from new features in the 5G network.
Read also: Share your smartphone's internet connection.
What is the difference between 4G and 5G?
5G is therefore an improvement of the 4G network and both can reuse the same frequency bands. Even though 5G uses other frequency bands such as 5G Sub-6 bands and millimeter wave bands.
The difference between these two bands is that 5G Sub-6 frequencies favor more range and less throughput. While millimeter waves favor more flow and less range of the signal.
Despite the novelties of the 5G network, several similarities exist between these two technologies (5G and 4G). But the main and the big difference is that 5G will offer speeds almost ten times that of its predecessor. They will vary between 100 Megabits and several Gigabits per second, up to 20 Gigabits. Imagine what can be achieved with such speeds.
Which devices are compatible with 5G?
The compatibility of the 5G network does not only concern mobile devices, but several types of connected devices and objects, from home automation to cars.
Today some smartphone maker already offer devices incorporating 5G technology. Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi are on the list, but not the only ones.
After a few months, other brands will surely present their terminals with integrated 5G, we must expect that. Right now, there's no need to look for a smartphone that supports 5G while you have no idea when you'll have access to this technology.
Dangers of the 5G network, What impact on health?
One of the questions that arise the most is that relating to the possible dangers of the 5G network on health. Some believe that, despite all the new features of the 5G network, it will increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The latter can cause cancer and other diseases.
As we already know, 5G will require the installation of several antennas for emitting electromagnetic waves. This is to extend the propagation of the signal, given the short range of waves to which resort will be made.
Is this what makes doubt of its reliability on our health? Speaking of radiation and health, there are two main families. There are so-called radiations ionizing, those that have a wavelength that can cause cancer and other damage to the body of the person exposed to them, such as altering their DNA.
There are also so-called radiations non-ionizing. Electromagnetic waves, including those emitted by 5G, are part of non-ionizing radiation. They are therefore not likely to cause cancer or DNA modification but, according to the researchers, have a thermal effect that can damage the biological tissues of people.
What should be remembered on this point is that 5G is officially declared not harmful to health. This is the conclusion recently issued (March 2020) by the International Commission for the Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP). She believes that 5G technology is safe for our health (PDF).
For this, it will therefore be a question (for operators) of remaining cautious by following the recommendations issued by the commission. Especially since we do not yet know if this will always be the case in the long term.
What about 6G, 7G and 8G?
Even if we are still talking about new features of the 5G network, I could not help but put a word on it. Already under study, 6G may not take many years to see the light of day.
Its arrival is expected in around 10 years, and could allow the increase of speeds 100 times more than those provided by 5G. It could also bring in communication satellites for coverage.
Given the very promising advances expected from 5G and the controversies surrounding it, it is not known whether the implementation of 6G technology will ever be a reality. As for the 7G, 8G or 9G, for the moment everything is still only a dream.