This whole time you were thinking 5G was for you, right? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s not. 5G isn’t for humans. So if it isn’t meant for us, who — or what — is it for?
5G is for machines. Motors, gears, CPUs, GPUs, actuators and sensors: these are the familiar components that make up the modern machine. However, most machines have lived a life of solitude. We’ve taken our devices and machines for granted by reserving the Internet for our use only without realizing how much better our lives would be if machines could connect to us as well as to each other more effectively. Enter 5G.
5G is not limited to your wireless device. It’s for your car, the tractor harvesting a wheat field, the high-speed train carrying commuters to work and the refrigerator at the grocery store — all the technology that makes your life better.
What’s in a Name?
5G is the 5th generation global wireless standard after 4G. It has been portrayed as the next evolution of mobile broadband. And although 5G does enhance the mobile broadband experience for most users, its impact is much bigger than that.
For the typical mobile device user, adding 5G is like upgrading your city’s infrastructure from a two-lane country road to a modern highway. It will enable individual users to drive faster, but it does so much more. Just like a highway offers higher traffic capacity, 5G offers higher network capacity. This higher capacity is necessary because all our machines will need to connect to our networks. In addition to higher network capacity, 5G ushers in another critical shift in dramatically reduced latency.
Latency is the delay between command and response. You experience poor latency (that is, longer wait time) when your online video game lags or when you press a button on your TV remote and the channel doesn’t change immediately. Systems that are fast moving or critical don’t work well with lag.
With more bandwidth, lower latency and the convenience of wireless, 5G will drastically change (for the better) the jobs that machines do for us. Let’s take a closer look at how 5G-connected machines can improve automobiles, factories, agriculture and medicine.