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Wait! Why is everyone on the rush for 5G technology?

5G is finally  here,  with EE launching the first 5G network  in the UK this week. This is a huge milestone,  but other networks  like Vodafone are also expected to launch their 5G in the UK a view days from now.
This has left many in the UK exited, and has elicited alot of reactions with many looking forward to have a 'taste' of 5G.
However, they are not alone......
5G technology  is taking the world by storm,  with each country, chip manufacturers,  Telco providers and device manufacturers racing to be the first,  or among the first in the 5G race.
But What is 5G?
  • 5G is 'fifth generation mobile network's,  the emidiate successor  of 4G, but much faster and with more applications than 4G.
  • It is believed that 5G can have speeds up to 10 GPS,  many times faster than 4G. This can allow you download a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds. 
  • Unlike 4 G which was mainly mobile phone based,  5 G has lots of applications.
US and South Korea  have been on each others  case,  each claiming to have been the first to launch 5G in the world, and is believed that South Korea  had to even push their launch date days ahead in order to ensure they launched before the US.
Both launched their commercial 5G network in April.
In the US,  Verizon launched its 5 G home service which could be accessed  with a 5 G enabled router in some cities including Houston,  Los Angeles.
This was April,  and AT$T had controversially  gone ahead of them, to launch a 5G network late 2018, via a mobile hot-spot, with some criticising them by equating AT$T to a runner who run back towards the starting line to claim victory.
 In this race for 5 G,  everyone is not left behind,  including world leading technology  providers,  device manufactures and network providers.
During the mobile world Congress in Barcelona Spain on February 26, Rain, a South Africa data only network operator, declared itself the first to launch 5 G in South Africa.
 In partnership with Huawei, Rain launched several 5G sites in Johannesburg using the 3.6 GHz band.
However, it is interesting to note that vodacom, the African unit of UK'S Vodafone, launched Africa's first 5 G network in August last year in Lesotho after it was granted a temporary 5 G testing licence.
Vodacom claimed that it had not launched in South Africa, since they did not have the 3.5 GHz spectrum and would immediately launch once it was granted the spectrum licence.
Many of these initial launches were more of 'a test bed', and is believed the first commercially available 5 G was in South Korea, when its three network providers, SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG Uplus launched 5G in April this year, and is believed to have signed up 260,000 subscribers within the first month.
EE on the other hand seems to have Successfully launched a more sustainable 5G network in the UK, and many seem exited about it, as the next UK network operator preparing to switch the second UK 5G network by early June.
Apart from being in a 5G enabled Zone, one needs to have a 5G enabled device.
Already A number of 5G enabled phones are available with various device manufactures in the rush to come up with 5G phones and devices, and many more are expected by end of this year.
While launching their 5G, South Korea picked the new stylish Samsung Galaxy S10 5G as their flagship device, while US Verizon on their part settled for Leno's Moto Z3.
On their part, EE in the UK already have a number of devices on their list including
  • One Plus 7 pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, LG V50 Thin Q, 5 GEE Home router and 5GEE WiFi.
So, Why is everyone on the rush for 5G
We cannot clearly pinpoint some of the reasons, or discuss them exclusively on this post, but according to my own observations, the following could possibly be the reasons why everyone wants to be ahead of the rest in the race for 5G technology.
  • As a show of might. Any country or technology firm that leads in rolling out a new technology usually becomes proud, and stamps their authority in the world as the tech leaders.
  • Economical reasons. According to the Global system for mobile communications in London, 5G related economic benefits is estimated to be worth USD 565 billion globally. Most of these will be generated out of mostly 5G related soft and hardware, including installation of base stations, 5G devices and bandwidth sales. Remember that 5G will require a lot much more base stations than 4G technology, and currently the only available 5G phones are high end phones which costs quite a fortune. The first to comfortably commercialize 5G will also have an opportunity to export their technology abroad especially to developing countries.
  • Unlike 4G, 5G is more focused on machines, and is expected to exponentially see the world of artificial intelligence grow. Think of smart cars, smart appliances smart homes, teleconference, communicating machines, smart healthcare and so on.
  • Due to it's reduced latency, 5G is expected to greatly influence the world of gaming and online streaming, as well as possibly result to new technology inventions.
  • Finally, according to my own observations, 5G is likely the last technology in terms of generations, as it operates at the highest possible frequencies of up to 300 GHZ. Above this frequency and we are at the infrared region. This is probably why every tech company is trying to make the best out of this region, before it also becomes saturated.
Is the 5G race Worth it?
Well, if you already have a 5G phone and in a 5G zone, you might have a totally different opinion than mine, but let me ask you; was the rush worth it?
Most probably no, coz your highly priced device might always be on LTE than 5G, especially if you travel a lot.
There are still a number of concerns I think should first be well looked into, including 5G enter port ability, the convenience of the mm waves and the price of 5G enabled phones and devices before declaring the world 5G ready.
For the developing countries, don't waste billions of dollars signing some costly contracts, maybe not now.
Wait until until at least 2021, when 5G will have been fully rolled out in countries like the US, Japan, Australia and in Europe.
By then, many challenges associated with early adoption will have been fully dealt with, the initial cost will have come down and many will be in a position to afford a 5G phone.
For now continue rolling out 3G and 4G.

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