What is 5G (Fifth-Generation Wireless Technology)?

(This answer is taken from my book Innovate the Next: Success Frameworks to Innovating Products in Any Revolution). In a simple sense, 5G is better mobile internet than 4G and its predecessors (3G, 2G and 1G).

5G uses radio waves to transmit data but it is not faster than fibre-optic internet, which uses fibre cables to transmit data.

A 5G station has a range of a few 100 meters whereas fibre has a range of about 70 KM.

5G is less stable than fibre.

Fibber has higher rollout and installation costs than 5G.

Already there are explorations into 6G. Maybe it will be a drastic improvement to 5G and catch up to fibre.

I think 5G and fibre work well together. In places where it is too costly to roll out fibre, 5G comes in as a good alternative.

Anyhow, this comparison shows that internet data transmission also follows a Moore’s Law improvement protocol, i.e. faster, cheaper, smaller.

Faster. As internet speed has been improving, other novel innovations become possible, efficient and fast. 4G and fibre enabled high definition video streaming to become a convenient and efficient possibility.

Cheaper. Internet companies now offer uncapped internet for certain streaming services, e.g. YouTube, Spotify and Netflix. You can watch them the whole day and still pay a fixed price per month. For most people it is cheaper than ‘pay as you use.’

Smaller. Today we have 5G on our phones. Moore’s Law improvement in transistors has enabled phones, however small they are, to run 5G and to have the same performance capabilities as computers.

Internet exapts into and converges all these 4IR innovations and any subsequent revolutions.

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Click here for the explanations of the other components of the 4IR (5G, Quantum Computing, Biotechnology, Autonomous Vehicles, 3D Printing, Decentralised Consensus, Iot, Nanotechnology, AI And Robotics).

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Innovate the Next’ is available on Amazon, on Takealot.com and in all South African bookstores.