Imagine being able to download your favorite movie onto your phone in a matter of seconds. This may actually become a reality by the end of 2018. The latest generation of cellular technology, 5G is set to begin rolling out in American several cities by the end of 2018. Wireless cellular technology has evolved rapidly over the past 37 years. With newer generations of cellular technology came mobile access to the Internet and increased storage capacity. Every generation of cellular technology has brought both improvements and draw backs.
To understand what might be expected with the new 5G technology one should first look back at the advantages and disadvantages of the previous generations of cellular technology.
In 1991 2G technology was launched. 2G (second generation), revolutionized cellular technology, providing a more efficient system with added benefits such as text messages and picture messages. Unlike 1G, which relied on analog telecommunication, 2g introduces digital telecommunication. Digital has a much lower radio frequency than analog, which made calls easier to understand, as there was less static picked up during a call. Lower radio frequencies also mad 2G cheaper than its predecessor.
However, 2G had its limitations, including weak signal transitions in areas without network coverage. Dropped calls were also more frequent on digital signals.
3G brought cellphone users better access to the Internet and other media services. What sold users on 3G was that it had high bandwidth (a larger range of frequencies within a given band). This meant that users could access the internet and their favorite websites just as easily on their phone as they could on their desktop. However, 3G was expensive. People often had to buy new phones or other costly assorted attachments to make their old phone 3G-compatable.
4G improved upon 3G’s multimedia features. 3G downloaded content more quickly, had a higher bandwidth than 3G, and was ultimately much faster than 3G. But like 3G users often had to buy new phones that were 4G combatable. The speed of the digital frequencies was also affected by the amount of people using it, meaning downloading and Internet speeds often slowed when more people used 4G
The 5G networks are expected to provide even greater data transmission speeds than its predecessor, 4G. 5G is also expected to be much faster than 4G, being able to receive signals almost instantaneously. 5G is also expected to allow more users to utilize its digital frequencies without slowing down.