August 20, 2020

5G and the fourth industrial revolution

It all started in the 70s and 80s with 1G technology that made wireless voice communication possible. In the 90s came 2G which made voice communication possible, but also introduced text messaging. In the 2000’s the 3G arrived and fiction became reality, with a 2 MB per second connection that offered the possibility of watching videos and listening to streaming music in acceptable quality. Around 2010 came the 4G which is the technology we use today with connectivity up to 200 MB per second allowing streaming video and high quality video calls, it also allows online gaming that was not possible before. Now we will make the leap to 5G which will make the fourth industrial revolution possible.

5G advantages

Connection speed:

With the 5G we will make the leap from the current 200MB per second to a connectivity of 10 to 20GB per second. Some studies believe it could even reach 800 GB/s.

Lower latency:

The latency is nothing more than the speed at which the data is transmitted, the latency of the 4G is around 20 or 30 milliseconds and in the 5G the latency could be up to 1 millisecond.

Positioning:

It will be possible to locate a mobile in real time, both in the horizontal and vertical plane, that is to say, it will be possible to know in real time in which building you are and in which floor.

Connect many devices in a very small area:

In one square kilometer it will be possible to connect up to a million devices and make the Internet of Things (IOT) possible.

Mobile phone battery life:

3G and 4G networks consume a lot of battery. We all know that if we surf the Internet through Wi-Fi it consumes less battery. With the 5G the battery of our smartphones will last many more hours.

Most benefited sectors

Smart cities, driverless vehicles, remote operating rooms, streaming, online games, virtual reality, etc. It is expected that by 2035, 5G will be at its peak globally, its economic impact is also expected to be $13 trillion and it will generate 22 million jobs. The installation of 5G will be very complex as they are short range antennas and a large amount will have to be installed to provide coverage to everyone.

In fields such as medicine it will be a real revolution. A surgeon from another country will be able to carry out an operation in real time using a robot like the popular Da Vinci.

The entire industry will be able to be much more efficient. Many processes that could only be performed by humans or were unfeasible in the past can be monitored, automated and robotized.

The 5G could boost the internet of things sector, allowing to connect all kinds of appliances, buildings, traffic lights, cars, airplanes, even facilitating machine-to-machine payment. Smart cities made up of machines and things that can be connected to each other efficiently.

Today it is estimated that 80% of stock market transactions are performed by machines, so there is a big battle for latency. The data centers that have less latency will be the ones that will win most of the operations, a millisecond advantage can make a millionaire difference. So it is believed that 5G can influence stock trading.

The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will need 5G. Today AI has surpassed humans in many respects but still seems far from surpassing human intelligence. Once that point is reached, known as general intelligence, such intelligence will need high speed internet to evolve. For this reason it is believed that whoever controls 5G will control the AI.

Not only will 5G intervene in all operations around the world, but it will also be a new military power. On the battlefield it will provide armies with artificial intelligence, faster missile response, accurate enemy detection, and real-time drone control from other countries. It will practically transform war into a video game.

In a world with everything connected, there will be much more data from each user and you will be able to know how many coffees they drink, what they buy, where each car has been, etc. It is believed that Blockchain could help preserve the privacy and security of 5G networks, but there are still some drawbacks such as scalability and legislation.

Tensions between major powers

The two most advanced countries in this technology are China and the United States. China has the lead and will control most of the network and antennas, so there is tension between the two countries. The efforts of the United States to stop China is not because the hyperconnection of its army, it’s because of the privacy aspect. With the advance of technology and American demand, if they do not have the capacity to stop China’s penetration they are going to find out that they will depend on the services provided by Chinese companies supposedly linked to the Chinese government. Washington believes they cannot be given access to much of their citizens’ information and also believes it would affect American technology companies. These are the reasons for the tariff war between countries and the veto on the technology giant Huawei.

5G health concerns

Lately, there have been several movements against 5G networks claiming that they affect health, but there is no conclusive scientific study that indicates that 5G can be harmful to our body. The power emitted by these radio frequencies is so low that they would have no effect on our body. An electromagnetic wave is measured by energy and depending on its energy it can produce damage or not. Ionising waves are classified by two segments, those with more energy, such as gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet light, which could break down molecules, and non-ionising waves, which are incapable of changing the atomic structure of any molecule, including radio waves, 5G, Wi-Fi and microwaves.