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Do We Really Need 5G Network Right Now?

From our last week poll, the punch hole display camera cutout and the on-screen fingerprint sensor is going to be a trend in 2019. Slide-screen and 5G technology may not see the light of day according to the poll result.

Since the official release of Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip which has the capacity to be integrated with Snapdragon X50 modem to provide 5G network, the tech industry has been 5G all the way in recent times. However, there is a very important question, do we really need the 5G network? You will have your say in the poll below.

The smartphone industry is very competitive and the market requires new innovations and tech from time to time.  In all honesty, 4G LTE was doing just well and then 5G tagged along. In fact, many developing countries still don’t have 4G LTE and some are just joining. Have you ever felt like your mobile internet is simply too slow? Today’s 3G and 4G LTE network seems sufficient to execute a full-featured internet service wherever there is a data signal. In some regions, 4G networks are so underdeveloped and you might easily mistake it for 3G. Technically, 4G networks can reach speeds of up to 100 Mbps but a majority of 4G users don’t get speeds above 50 Mbps.

If 4G network adoption rate is slow and some regions don’t have this network yet, why do we need 5G? It is only logical that companies with matured 4G systems would move on to the next phase whether there is a significant need or not. Let’s look at the obvious advantages of 4G over 3G networks

4G network speed is clearly above 3G network in “all” ramifications.
Data connection over a 4G network is much more secure than 3G.
4G network speeds are comparable to some home based Wi-Fi connections.
4G offers increased portability and convenience.

Though these advantages were sufficient for consumers to crave 4G network, it still had its setbacks. Some disadvantages are

  • Global penetration rate is quite slow
  • Its expensive in developing markets
  • The 4G network needs a significant infrastructure investment to deploy
  • 4G connections are power inefficient.
  • High latency (the delay that occurs before a connection is established)

The development of 5G network is supposed to address the setbacks of the 4G network but it appears that 5G development significantly addresses only the high latency problem and all others stay put. Current networks have latency up to 50ms on average connection but 5G network could have latency as low as 1ms. This would be hugely important for IoT and connected devices. Theoretically, the 5G network speeds should completely obliterate the existing 4G networks. The estimate peak capability of the 5G network is about 10Gbps, which is way better than anything you’ve seen on the internet including wired networks. High definition movies could be downloaded in seconds, and video calling could be in full HD, QHD, or even 4K resolution. However, the theory is usually far from practical situations.

So looking at the improvements from 4G to 5G networks, do you think it is worth it? 5G will still be expensive, even more, expensive than 4G, its penetration rate will be slower because of its shorter coverage area. So, is 5G network a much-needed technology? Let us have your thought in the poll below and if there is anything you need to add, please use the comment. – Giz China

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