What you need to know about 5G technology to stay ahead

What you need to know about 5G technology to stay ahead

Just like you, Digitel relies on fast internet to provide the best service in town. The next big thing will be 5G wireless internet, which will speed up everything from VoIP to mobile internet. Even though the platform is still undergoing testing, the participants of the recent Mobile World Congress couldn't stop talking about it. What is 5G Technology anyway?

In the basic sense, 5G is defined as mobile networking on its fifth generation. It is considered the next step in cellular technology, what the future tablets and phones will use for internet.

This technology is best explained in terms of its forerunners: 2G, 3G, and 4G. When 2G was released in the early '90s, wireless telecommunications grew from being voice-based to a platform that supported SMS (Short Messaging System) or text messaging. When 3G came around, mobile data added value to the usual phone calls and text messaging services. Finally, 4G Long-term Evolution or LTE made the services more stable and faster.

What does 5G mean for SMBs?

This upcoming technology platform promises to boost mobile internet speeds even further, but it will also come with a suite of innovations. The final specifications are still being agreed upon, but mobile device manufacturers and consumers can look forward to a number of confusingly named features that have huge benefits to the average user. Let's closely examine these contenders:

Full duplex
Our present generation of mobile phones and cellular towers are not designed to receive and transmit data at the same time. Devices that will support full duplex can route outgoing and incoming signals at the same time, potentially amplifying bandwidth and boosting the signal for faster connections.

Beamforming
Mobile phones and other devices use radio frequencies to pick up cellular signal. The more devices there are in an area, the more interference may be experienced. Beamforming simply utilizes algorithms to focus wireless signals in a beam, boosting their strength without interrupting others.

Small cells
Miniature cellular towers can easily be installed on the roofs of buildings or street light poles. Small cells don't need as much power as the big towers, and they can work better if two or more of these are banded together.

Millimeter waves
When the small cell is put down, it will transmit millimeter waves which thrive around crowded environments. This means that the waves will have difficulty passing through physical boundaries (even tree branches can interfere with the signal), but are high enough to be unaffected by other signals, thus avoiding digital noise.

MIMO
While millimeter waves have their shortcomings, MIMO (Multiple-input Multiple-output) waves are much narrower. This wireless system sends and receives many radio signals at once. The current 4G LTE network supports up to four receivers and eight transmitters, but once 5G becomes a standard, cell towers may be able to take on dozens of transmitters and receivers.

Will 5G Technology be available anytime soon?

The 4G LTE standard was introduced to the world almost a decade after 3G became the norm. The platform is still undergoing testing, but telecommunications giants are slowly creating devices which will fully support the new technology. All the relevant parties are close to an agreement on 5G, but the day when you're holding a phone that uses it is probably still a year or two away.

If you're looking for the fastest, most efficient wireless internet, video, voice, and data solutions for your business, you don't have to wait a couple years. We'll help you zip past the competition and be one of the first to switch to 5G technology. Just give us a call today!