What was before 5G?

As in almost any technological development, each new advance is measured in terms of how fast a task can be done, how much resource savings it entails, or how much safer and more flexible the process can be.  When it comes to global communications, in the last 40 years we have experienced an intense evolution to reach where we are now:

  • The first generation

In the 80s, with the arrival of mobile telephony, the first generation was implemented, being limited almost exclusively to voice transmission, and only 56Kb/s. With this technology, 20 million users were reached in 1990.

  • 2G and the universalization of mobile 

Since 1990, the speed has doubled and the systems have been digitized, making it possible to expand the potential public of mobile phones.

  • 3G and the new functionalities

With the 3G technology that appeared in 2001, mobile devices begin to acquire new functionalities, they are no longer simple mobile phones to make calls. With speeds 20 times faster than 2G, users could navigate the Internet, share images, send e-mails or even listen to and download music and video.

  • 4G and live streaming

Thanks to 4G it is now possible to receive and transmit live video and image. With speeds up to 500 times higher than 3G, the door is opened to the Internet of things, although still with great limitations.

The revolution of 5G

The arrival of this new generation is thanks to the sum of a set of technologies that define it as a network of networks. This new paradigm presents a series of functional and technological advantages that open the door to a new communication model.

  • Speed – At the point of its full implementation, 5G will be up to 100 times faster than 4G’s current speed, allowing content to be downloaded at unimaginable speeds. Streaming content can also increase its quality and size without affecting network saturation. Thanks to speeds as fast as 10Gb/s the same content that previously used to take several minutes to download, with the 5G will be a matter of seconds.
  • Latency – Latency is the response speed of a device and is measured in milliseconds. The 5G stands out for the increase in data transmission speed but the most noticeable change is in the latency that would go from 40-50ms to 1ms or even less, which means even better performance than in local networks.
  • Capacity  – 5G will support a very large number of devices and systems interconnected to the same network, which will facilitate the development of technologies such as IoT, virtual reality experiences and augmented reality.
  • Reliability – 5G is expected to be very reliable, meaning almost no loss of connectivity, which will be essential for the development and implementation of IoT in critical cases and real-time monitoring.
  • Flexibility – 5G allows a physical network to be divided into multiple virtual networks to making possible to use of the network depending on the requirements of the use case. 
  • Lower energy consumption  – Contrary to what one might imagine, the implementation of this technology will lead to a significant reduction in battery consumption, which will result in greater autonomy.

What are the main advances 5G will bring to the industry?

According to Soring Hornoiu Head of Digital Platforms & Infrastructure Services at LafargeHolcim IT EMEA: “Today, our manufacturing facilities, warehouses and plants rely on digital technology, as well as network connectivity, to conduct tasks around the clock including real-time inventory, monitoring, safety management, IIoT, digital twin, and so on. As technology continues to advance, we are also increasingly leveraging cloud and mobile computing to streamline operations across the regions. As a result, strong and reliable connectivity is essential to powering operations or integrate the customers in our ecosystem.” This will be improved thanks to the implementation of 5G networks. 

Beyond Mobile: 5G and digital transformation

As we mentioned in our previous post about digital transformation today, technology has become so important that no business is likely to survive without successfully undergoing the process of digital transformation. Giving the nature of technology, this means that a company must always be up to date in every advancement that could help it improve and speed up its processes, reduce costs and, ultimately, its revenue.

The 5G differs from previous technologies in the fact that in that it is not based on a single network. Rather, it is a set of networks, technologies and advances that make it a more living, changing and developing element. This forces companies to move forward with technology in order to obtain the greatest return from a system that goes far beyond mobile phones.

According to Sorin Hornoiu 5G will improve businesses processes allowing us to be:  “faster and with lower cost in the development of our solutions.:

Speed, reliability and lower latency offered by 5G network will allow us to develop centralized solutions (cloud-based). We will avoid in this case a lot of work in synchronization of the data., It will be much easier to maintain and update -as it will be just an instant-, and it will be much faster to develop to cover scenarios like:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Digital twins – the possibility to identify the best setup of equipment with a positive consequence in energy consumption or predictive maintenance
  • Virtual Reality solutions for plant or equipment simulation or Augmented Reality solution that could address Customer needs on the job sites or remote Maintenance support in our locations”

5G is still in its infancy but there is no doubt that it will bring a genuine social and industrial revolution. We should carefully observe the paths opened up by this technology and learn how to make the most of it. Follow us on this path and discover what technology will bring us in the future!