5G and the IOT Revolution

5G phone

5G is about to take center stage, and this means a lot of changes are just around the corner. Find out what 5G is, what 5G IoT looks like, and how these emerging technologies may affect the future so that you don’t feel left in the dark.

What is 5G IoT?

5G stands for fifth-generation, and so the era of 5G represents the fifth-generation of mobile technology.

IoT means the Internet of Things, and it represents everything that is connected to the cloud network. It includes everything that communicates data through the internet, such as software and sensors.  

IoT 5G is different from 4G IoT in that the internal components are wired to pick up the higher frequencies of 5G technology. They transmit and receive information at a higher rate than older generations.

How does 5G work?

Wireless technology deals with the radio spectrum, and radio spectrums can be broken up into bands. The higher the frequency, the higher the abilities. 4G uses frequencies at or below 6 GHz, whereas 5G operates in the mmWave frequency, which is frequencies between 30 GHz and 300 GHz

Because 5G operates at a higher frequency, it can easily support a much larger capacity for data transmission, and it can also support a lot more devices connected to it. 

Benefits of 5G for the IoT 

  • Zero Lag Time: With so many IoT devices requiring internet, delays and lag time are frequent. With 5G, lag time will become a thing of the past.
  • Higher Speed: An increase in speed is expected, but it’s a whole lot more than you may be thinking. 5G is capable of being up to 100 times faster than today’s networks— meaning that instead of megabytes per second (Mbps), it will be gigabytes per second. Imagine being able to download a 4K movie in seconds. That’s the kind of speed we’re talking about.  
  • More Connected Devices: A 5G network will be able to support a lot more devices. So much so that cities will begin to transition into smart cities. Do you want a truly safe autonomous car that can drive you to work? Do you want to know where there’s a free parking space? 5G will make that technology ubiquitous as more cities and towns adopt it.
  • More Data and Information: With so many devices able to communicate in real-time, a lot more information and data will become readily available.
  • A Connected Rural America: With 5G, cities and coastal towns won’t be the only ones to benefit. Rural America is going to, at long last, get access to high-speed data. It’s expected that the medical community will be impacted the most. 

Negatives of 5G for the IoT

  • It Will be Expensive: Developing new technologies and infrastructure isn’t cheap. The potential is endless, but it’s going to cost companies and local governments a lot of money in R&D (Research and Development) to do so.
  • Existing Technologies Will Need to be Replaced: Older devices out today will not be able to utilize 5G. This means they will need to be replaced in the not so distant future. 
  • Security: When any new technology is developed, new securities need to be revamped, too. Perhaps the biggest immediate threat will be to areas and countries behind the curve that haven’t updated their systems.    

How is 5G better than 4G?

5G will outperform 4G in every way possible.

  • No Congestion: Commute to work and stream, and you have probably experienced buffering times even though you have a great connection. This is because the network is congested. 5G will alleviate all congestion.
  • Far Faster: 5G will be many times faster than 4G (capable of being up to 100x).
  • Connect More Devices: Lag and latency occur when too many devices are connected to a network— 5G can support far more than 4G.
  • Super Efficient: Create and access data seamlessly without any hiccups. The new network will be much more efficient than the last one.  

Do you need a new phone to use 5G? 

Yes, you will need a new device at some point in the future to take advantage of 5G and all that it will have to offer, but you don’t need a new one just yet. That said, expect to see more and more companies advertising 5G phones very soon. 

To get a 5G phone right now with a mainstream manufacturer, prices are still quite high (Samsung sells a few models in the $1,200 range). As 5G becomes more ubiquitous, expect prices to be more evenly distributed to accommodate more budgets.

If you’re waiting on an iPhone with 5G access, you don’t have to wait much longer. Apple is expected to roll out 5G iPhones later this year.

How much are 5G plans?

Verizon will offer unlimited 5G data at only $10 more than its current unlimited data plan, and currently covers a lot of cities in the US. T-Mobile’s 5G plans will not cost any more than its current plans. Sprint offers an $80 a month unlimited plan in select areas. Lastly, AT&T is rolling out a 5G plan for $50 per line up to four lines after autopay and paperless discounts.  

Which countries have/will have 5G?

5G is currently available in select cities in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • China
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • Spain

Countries that will soon have 5G include:

  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • France
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Norway

What’s the status of 5G?

5G is imminent. Widespread coverage of 5G is expected within the United States this year

Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon all offer 5G plans, but you have to live in select areas to access their 5G networks.

What’s the future of 5G? 

Expect new apps and technologies to give you continuous updates— real-time traffic and weather data, crystal clear audio and video for all applications, autonomous cars, autonomous drone deliveries and remote operations. The possibilities are endless and not even fully realized yet. 

Some companies taking charge with 5G and IoT include:

  • Xilinx
  • Qualcomm
  • Verizon
  • VMWare
  • Marvell Tech
  • Ericsson

Whether it’s building new cell towers, 5G chips, or new software, expect to hear more about these companies in the years ahead. 

The bottom line

5G is imminent. Expect big changes in technology to occur during the next decade. Faster download speeds, larger coverage areas and innovative emerging technologies will become the new normal.