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5G Might Be 20 Times Faster Than 4G: Is It 20 Times Safer Too?
The fifth generation of mobile network - 5G will soon be upon us and will completely revolutionize the way we interact with the world. It will not just make the internet speed better but will pave the way for a highly advanced technological society.
Sectors such as IOT, Healthcare, Automobile, and others will be highly benefitted with the advent of 5G. Moreover, the new generation wireless communication network that will be 20 times faster compared to its precursor - 4G. It won't be a reiteration of the previous builds, but a reinvention of the technology, built from scratch.
But, as they say: "applause doesn't come without caveats," 5G has its drawbacks as well. Installation, security, and its deployment to name a few will be the hurdles 5G will have to cross before it establishes itself as the most advanced wireless communication network.
Hefty Pricing Could Affect Adoption
It's a well-known fact that 5G will be a costly technology and it remains to be seen whether the telecom operators are ready to shell out the huge amount to buy the 5G spectrum for their networks.
Speaking about places like India where the 4G adoption isn't yet completed, bringing a new and costlier network might not be very fruitful for the operators. DOT has come up with National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), which aims to raise $100 billion investment in the sector by 2022.
The main purpose of the policy is to offer broadband service at 50 megabits per second and 5G services. But, the base price suggested by the telecom regulator TRAI is holding the telcos to agree on buying the 5G spectrum. The TRAI proposes 20MHz blocks in a 3,300-3,600MHz band at a price of Rs. 492 crore per unit in 5G spectrum bands.
The same could happen with other countries as well and this might affect the adoption rate of the technology across the globe. We still believe there would be some important steps taken towards the deployment of the system and make it a tad cheaper.
Technological Hurdles Need Attention
Inter-cell interference could be an issue that needs more attention. Interference is caused when users in different neighbor cells attempt to use the same resource at the same time. Interference occurs because cells can only identify radio resources their own UEs are using, and not what other UEs in the neighbor cells are making use of.
In 4G networks like LTE/LTE-A, inter-cell interference can be controlled through coordination among base stations. However, it wouldn't be easy on 5G networks. Since there are variations in the size of traditional macro cells and concurrent small cells, it might lead to interference. One of the most feasible solutions is to move from traditional macro-cell deployments to network densification.
Downlink interference can be resolved from the network side by partially muting the interfering cells using a coordinated intercell algorithm. Another possibility is to allow the UEs combat part of the interference with help of advanced receivers with interference cancellation capabilities.
The technology also needs heavy research and optimization. At places where access points and user terminals are densely required, the user throughput will be low, and latency can increase. Also, the hotspots should be competent to cellular technology to offer high throughput.
The 5G service depends heavily on the availability of radio spectrum, using which signals and data are transmitted. Though the technology carries strong computational power to process a lot of data simultaneously, it still requires powerful infrastructure support.
Your Privacy Might Be At Risk
It's really concerning that 5G brings along high-security risks. European cybersecurity agency ENISA also intimated about the risks 5G technology could bring. These threats already exist on 4G networks, but with the increase in bandwidth and users, these threats could be deadlier.
Due to the lower latency on 5G networks, the cyber attacks could see a surge. We live in a time where almost all the devices can be used remotely over the internet. The cybercriminals could take advantage to fulfill their evil plans. The Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors will also require more complex authentication to make it less vulnerable to hackers.
The new network will have to define the uncertainties related to security threats including privacy, cybersecurity, which are growing rapidly all over the world. This also makes the legislation of the Cyberlaw an important issue. Since it is controlled by the government, it's really important for respective countries to draw some lines and curb these threats.
5G Brings Along Health Risks
The 5G network might help the healthcare sector in performing remote surgeries, offer remote monitoring to more patients, or sending data to doctors in real-time. But the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have already said that electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation is "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
Despite the fact, the negligence still prevails and there isn't a lot of investment made to study electromagnetic field (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF), and its effects on human health. With the deployment of 5G, the extremely low frequencies of access points and mobile phones will pose a serious threat, especially to children.
The appeal for faster downloads will be widespread, but that would come at a cost of EMF radiation, RF transmissions, and constant flow of Wi-Fi signals that aren't taken very seriously.
Is 5G Really The Future?
5G has been the topic of several debates among technologists, governments, and operators across the globe regarding its deployment, pricing, viability, and most importantly its security.
As predicted, 5G will be extremely helpful in connecting an individual to the whole world and accomplish things which can only be dreamt of on a 4G network. However, the bigger question still remains whether this is the right time to launch 5G where previous technologies (4G and 3G) aren't fully adopted in many parts of the world.
5G actually gives us a peek into the world which is beyond just smartphones, supercomputers, and tablets connected to the web. The new network will bring along new opportunities for businesses offering services and apps to manage IoT ecosystems and convert data into smart insights.
All that said, we still think the technology should only see the light of day, when fully optimized and safe for everyone to use.