What does 5G mean?

You hear the word 5G everywhere today. But what does 5G mean? 5G stands for 5th generation mobile protocol and the name is used for the latest major development phase of the mobile network. 5G is just being launched around Sweden and around the world, but when talking about 5G it is still described as the protocol of the future. 5G will eventually replace 3G and 4G, which are now the most common standards. This development means faster and more secure connection to the mobile wireless network.

5G is already being raised to the skies and people are talking about significantly higher speeds and smoother throughput. But how can 5G be so much better than 4G? What makes 5G so special? And is it true that 5G is dangerous? If you want to dig deeper into 5G, we have written a blog about everything you could possibly want to know about 5G.

Research on 5G

Research on 5G and its mobile network solutions has been intensive. Both companies and countries have invested huge amounts of money on finding better and faster solutions. It has been both the user and the modern society that have driven the development forward. In the future, more devices will be connected to the Internet and stable mobile networks will be required for society to function.

Of course, our private mobiles and computers will be connected to 5G. But hospitals, fire departments, schools and other important social functions will also be connected to cloud services and will therefore be completely dependent on connection. There will be high demands on speed and low delay. 5G must work everywhere and without interruption. But what does 5G really mean and what should it be used for?

  • 5G is the name for the future protocol for telecommunication
  • The standard isn’t decided but will probably have a speed of 10-20 gigabytes/second
  • 5G will be much faster and more available than the last protocol
  • 5G will be able to manage far more parallel connections than existing technology
  • More things will be able to connect simultaneously
  • Most carriers and developers are testing the technique but on a smaller scale
  • The technique will most likely first be available for the public in 2020

The Internet of Things is becoming an everyday thing

The Internet of Things, abbreviated IoT, means that more and more machines and gadgets will be connected to the Internet. It can be anything from refrigerators that remind you to buy more butter, public toilets, hairdryers who know about your hair type and can adjust the heat, to the entire building complexes. In parallel with the development of the Internet of Things, there is also a lot of research on autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars, and “Smart cities”, connected cities.

Common to all these new features is that the connection to different types of cloud-based services and databases is essential for the systems to function as intended. For example, it is extremely important for a self-driving vehicle to receive direct feedback without delay from the positioning systems to which it is connected.

5G is thus a prerequisite for the development of IoT, the Internet of Things, smart cities and autonomous vehicles to continue. And much of the research has been about 5G on better capacity to support many different types of devices connected at the same time without compromising the network’s capacity and stability.

Higher speeds and less latency

5G is on a higher frequency band than, for example, 4G or the type of Wi-Fi we use today. It is the higher frequency that makes the speed of 5G so much better. The speed is estimated to be at approximately 10 Gigabit/s. In addition to the increased speed, 5G will have a much lower delay, what is usually called latency. The issue of latency has been an important point when it comes to 5G. This is because you want to be able to control different units in real time. Imagine a self-driving car that takes half a second too long to make a critical decision. It can mean that people lose their lives. 5G is expected to have a latency of one millisecond.

5G infographic


What will 5G mean for private individuals?

For private individuals, 5G will mean that both computer and mobile will get faster networks with less delay. In the long term, the wired network is likely to be phased out in favor of wireless technology. The internet will be available everywhere and more of the gadgets we use in everyday life will be connected.

We will live in a future where smart gadgets, cities and social functions become a part of everyday life. The trend is also towards both storage and services becoming cloud-based, which places higher demands on the network’s capacity while storage on the hardware, ie on the computer or in the mobile phone, will become less important.

5G is slowly being tested in Sweden. Exactly which operators will offer the technology is yet to be determined. It is likely that some cities and regions will implement the technology faster than others. Among other things, Telia has previously assumed that Stockholm and Tallinn will be early test beds.

Does 5G have any effect on our health?

It has often been debated whether phones, in general, are dangerous to us humans. The general conclusion has been that the phone is not dangerous for us. But with the progress of 5G, the debate has resurfaced. Those who claim that 5G is dangerous claim that the increased energy that a higher frequency means, can cause cancer. They often substantiate their claim by referring to the IARC’s opinion. IARC is the international body for cancer research. The IARC has classified the radio waves emitted by the telephone and the mobile network as “possibly carcinogenic”. But there is no reason to get excited for it. Many everyday things have received the same classification, for example coffee. There is no definitive evidence that 5G is inducing.

Latest update Oct 2020