The world can be a small place. It is if you believe that wireless networks connect us with each other, our devices and a universe of pathways to do everything from conversing clearly on the phone to rapidly following streaming audio to video or monitoring rapid-fire data flow into an online dashboard from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. With the soon-to-be-here fifth generation of wireless technology, the world will seem even smaller.
Introduction of 5G cellular networks is on the cusp of disrupting our economy, industries and world—mostly for the better. It has faced some obstacles, but there is a multitude awaiting its arrival.
What is 5G all about?
5G wireless data technology is the all-new data pipeline that could potentially serve as the infrastructure for every signal from every cellular device that uses the internet. It can handle large amounts of data, and it is fast.
Qualcomm, a developer of wireless communication chips, touts 5G as delivering at speeds 20 times faster than 4G, enabling the user to download a movie in just 17 seconds. This iteration of wireless technology has big implications, from a shot in the arm to our connected world in the age of internet of things and a discernible boost to the efficiency and effectiveness of electrical contractors (not to mention all the new work its implementation can bring to their calendars).
Important to note for ECs, a single tower’s service area for 5G is much smaller than 4G. Therefore, networks will require more cell towers, which means more electronic devices that need to be wired, installed and maintained. More cells, more towers, more devices and more connections mean more work for ECs. Electrical contractors will become users of 5G, and they’ll do the heavy lifting of making 5G a reality.
The pathway to a 5G universe
The path forward for 5G, however, is not without barriers to deployment. For one, if you’d like to jump on the 5G data superhighway, you’ll need a 5G hardware. It’s not cheap. Samsung’s 5G phone, for example, retails at 144% of the price of the same phone without 5G service.
And then there are the mergers and consolidation—which are proving troublesome. The Justice Department recently approved the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, which faced years of antitrust scrutiny, lawsuits, logistics and many overarching obstacles.
A number of communities, mostly in the West, are rejecting 5G because of rumors that the radiation associated with 5G is dangerous and harmful. As of now, the rumors aren’t supported by any scientific evidence, but they are enough to slowdown the introduction of 5G. If the merger goes through, bring on 5G.
The 5G icing on the cake
There truly is good news in the fifth generation of wireless connectivity for everyone, but there is an abundance for electrical contractors. It will not only improve the efficiency of contractors that increasingly rely on mobile devices for productivity, but will also provide a great influx of new work to do in installing new cells and maintaining them.
The arrival and full implementation of 5G is new. Soon it will be old. But rest assured, it will make our world better, our lives better and the fruits of technology will be allowed to shine with a tad more luster than ever before as data—which is becoming more voluminous and essential—moves in greater bandwidths than ever.