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5G is the new word of the year in 2018, every one is excited about the speed of 5G network and the possibilities that it presents. To understand how far we have come in terms of speed we have to go back to when it was 2G, CDMA popularized by AT&T and TDMA popularized by Verizon with the help of Qualcomm were the competing technologies in the 90’s that effectively sliced the spectrum with efficiency and those two technologies were fighting it out for a whole decade trying to prove their technology was better. If you remember one aspect of the AT&T technology was that the user was able to use one SIM card and transfer to any phone that would accept SIM cards and it was very convenient back then to change phones without having to get stuck on a single phone. Where as the Verizon’s CDMA did not allow to change SIM cards between phones like that and it was a major inconvenience but like today had better coverage! Not to digress then came the 3G and we started hearing about W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access and HSPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access , HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access at around 2008 was the most technological leap we had made in telecommunication till then and 4G came around with the LTE technology was introduced that truly took us into the realm of salability making 20 MHz speed a possibility. Between HSPA and LTE we are able to leap frog to 100 Mbps speed.
Mobile technology truly revolutionized the human lifestyle right here at home and far places like Africa, Asia, South America, China and other developing nations that were so far behind was able to leap frog into the 21st century without having to go thru a lot of development process that required infrastructure requirements. The wonder of wireless technology is that it is wireless and require minimal installs and wallah you are instantly connected to far away places. With that came the demand that was 1000 times more and the demand for data transfer multiplied exponentially. 4G is getting saturated and the 700 Mhz to 2.6 Ghz will run out of room to support any further demand requiring to venture into waters we have never been before, “necessity is the mother of invention” and we have that need now. The mm wave technology is made possible by some interesting developments in CMOS technology developed by companies like Texas Instruments has made is so efficient with space and energy, along with antennas that are packed in arrays make this advancement possible. At present the 4G technology uses the 20 Mhz bandwidth for data transfer and with the mm wave we can increase the bandwidth and decrease latency or delay cause the size of data is decreased. Instead of 1 person carrying a 100 lb weight, 10 people carry 10 lb each their by increasing the speed that a single person carry kind of analogy. Since the data size is small the energy consumed is small as well keeping things to operate for a longer time with less charge. This is quite a crucial feature of 5G that the IoT (Internet of Things) is finally a reality ans so is autonomous vehicles.
Self Driving Cars
Self driving cars is truly a challenge that could not e even understood without 5G technology. Latency or delay in signal transmission was not an option cause lives depend on it. The small cell mm wave data packets can be transferred faster and more importantly processed in the cloud that much quicker to instruct the onboard computer in your vehicle to make appropriate actions while on the highway or in the urban neighborhoods where kids might be playing!
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