In 80’s first generation technology (1G) made communication via cellphone a reality. The Second generation (2G) introduced ‘Text Messaging’ including phone call. Third Generation (3G) introduced smartphones and fourth generation (4G) provided us higher speed. Now the world has met with 5G. It is the fifth generation wireless communication technology based on the existing wireless technology like Wi-Fi, GSM and promises to change the world into automation. It has higher capacity and speed than the existing 4G.
Different cities in the US, the UK and South Korea are already using 5G Technology. Germany held an auction for 5G Spectrum in June 2019. Argentina expected to begin in the end of 2019. India is expected to launch by the end of 2019 or early 2020. According to an article of The Economic Times, India is far behind countries like Australia, the US, Germany and South Korea in terms of 5G technology.
At a time when 5G seems to impact the communication, business and society, The Policy Times tried to find out what will be its real impact.
Advantage of 5G
5G Technology benefits everyone including students, professionals, people and also industry. There are several advantages of this technology includes –
It provides the high-speed Internet connection where data transfer speed is about 10 times higher than the 4G. While people on 3G and 4G networks often face speed issues and buffering while downloading files or watching videos, 5G networks will solve all speed related issues.
Increase in Bandwidth
Bandwidth is also the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed time, i.e. bits per second (bps) or bytes per second for digital device. With less bandwidth, the devices run slowly in 4G, but in 5G with the increasing of bandwidth the devices runs faster.
In fifth generation technology uses millimeter waves, which have shorter range than microwave. This results latency less than 1 microsecond can be achieved with 5G. So, immediate connection and release can be possible by 5G smartphones.
In Healthcare sector
Digital transformation of healthcare can be possible in the new era of fifth generation technology. Being a technology for high speed and capacity, 5G will impact business positively and healthcare is one of the sectors.
The file of MRI, CT scan and other image machines is too large. 5G would help transfer those huge files in seconds and this will improve the quality of healthcare. It will also help in expanding the reach of telemedicine to cover remotest villages where doctors are not able to reach in emergency.
In a study by Market Research Future, the telemedicine market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 16.5% between 2017-2023. Ericsson in its report predicted that healthcare transformation with 5G would value $76 billion in revenue opportunity by 2026.
In healthcare, the impact and implementation of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will be highly positively impacted with 5G. By using this wireless technology, remotely controlled surgery can be done. This year world’s first remote controlled operation was done on an animal by a Chinese surgeon using 5G technology, where he controlled a robotic arm in a remote located 30 miles away.
The automotive industry needs use of latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, etc.. It also needs high-speed Internet access for better communication and connectivity. This is only possible with 5G. Autonomous cars need 5G speed, a Forbes article indicated. By 2035, 5G will also enable sale of automotive machine use of over $1.4 trillion in sectors such as agriculture, mining, construction, and transportation; according to a report of ISH.Education sector will also be massively benefited. Natural disaster can be detected faster, etc.
Everything has negatives and 5G can’t be an exception.
High cost of 5G Infrastructure
It is too expensive to set up 5G infrastructure in a city. Many old devices cannot support 5G, and hence they will need replacements.
Security is the main concern. The European cybersecurity agency, ENISA has expressed their concerns on high risks that 5G networks could bring. They also said that there are not enough security guarantees.
Affect in human health
Frequency used for 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G was one to six gigahertz. According to Kevin Mottus from the California Brain Tumor Association, for 5G, it is between 24 – 90 gigahertz. The higher frequency is more dangerous to living organism. From all over the world, a group of 170 scientists recommended to the European Union institutions for 5G technology to be banned because “Growing concerns about the increase in radiofrequency radiation and the related health risks for European citizens.” A research published by Public Health and Environmental Implications on 5G told that it could lead to DNA damage.
While 5G will create niche job prospects, with high automation aided by 5G, this could lead to joblessness and hence a high risk for populated emerging countries like India, which is struggling to create new jobs.