[ShortMemo] 5G

Next Generation Connectivity

2019.08

[ShortMemo] 5G: Next Generation Connectivity
[ShortMemo] 5G
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I. What is 5G?

5G(fifth generation) refers to the next-generation of mobile internet connectivity, beyond the LTE mobile network.

  • 5G, which is an emerging mobile technology, has started hitting the market and promises to change the world by improving communication between people and devices. 5G offers faster speed and increased connectivity between various devices, extending overall Internet connectivity 5G network will provide the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world. 5G is also expected to be a key component in the upcoming fourth industrial revolution by creating a global digital ecosystem.
  • 5G network utilizes small cells, rather than the huge and geographically dispersed cell towers that are used for current LTE networks. Small cells are low power, short range wireless transmission systems with base stations that cover a small geographical area. Since the signals unable to travel long distances or pass through objects, antennas will be placed at short distances thus increasing the density of antennas. It is anticipated that antennas will be installed in homes as well.


II. Three main benefits of 5G

5G is expected to bring three main benefits: faster speeds, shorter delays, increased connectivity.

  • Faster speeds: Data transfer speeds are projected to be about ten times higher than 4G, which indicates a significantly faster transmission of images and videos. Through 5G speeds, one can download high definition movies within a second.
  • Shorter delays: 5G is said to reduce [1] latency, or lag-time to one-tenth that of 4G, which would make it possible to watch high-speed virtual reality videos with no delays or glitches.
  • Increased connectivity: Cell towers equipped with 5G technology would have a greatly increased capacity over 4G/LTE, which makes it easier for a larger number of people with more devices to communicate simultaneously.


III. Opportunities of 5G

Unlike 4G, which was [2] geared more towards smartphones, 5G usage can go beyond smartphones to include cars, medical machines, and IoT.

  • Remote surgery: With 5G’s low-latency connectivity and the short lag time, a surgeon may not need to be in the same room as the patient in the future. There is often a shortage of doctors, especially surgeons in rural areas. This issue can be [3] mitigated by having doctors do “remote surgeries”, where the surgeon does not have to be in the room to perform an operation. Connectivity at 5G levels will allow patients in remote areas to receive real-time support from the finest surgeons in the world, regardless of their location.
  • Self-driving cars: Self-driving cars are constantly collecting various data, including traffic conditions, weather, GPS location, etc., helping algorithms operate autonomously. In the future, self-driving cars must be able to respond rapidly to changing road conditions. For instance, if several self-driving cars are involved in an accident, oncoming cars must be made aware immediately of the resulting road blockage. Additionally, autonomous vehicles need to connect and analyze people in motion to prevent any accidents, with near-zero latency. 5G will make all of this a [4] seamless reality.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): The internet of things which has become a reality through 5G connectivity is the concept of interconnection between devices, ranging from household items to manufacturing robots, that can transmit data through the internet, allowing remote control and monitoring. The possibilities of this technology are endless and can transform kitchen appliances, climate control systems, etc. through machine to machine communication leading to a new era of technological ease.

IV. Threats of 5G

However, there are growing concerns about security and safety of 5G network.

  • Security Challenges: Since 5G networks enable a huge increase in bandwidth and a massive number of connected devices, there is a growing security concern. Vastly increased numbers of devices and an elevated use of virtualization increases the number of 5G security threats and creates a broader, multifaceted attack surface. More issues related to hacking personal information and evading privacy can arise. For instance, the threat of automotive cyber-attacks will increase as autonomous vehicles become more common.
  • Similarly, there may be security threats within the medical sector. In the healthcare field, 5G will allow faster transfer of patient files, remote surgery, remote monitoring via IoT(Internet of Things) devices. However, it creates the risk of medical identity theft and invasion of health privacy and medical data.

    Growing use of 5G and IoT devices will make it more challenging to deal with increasing cybersecurity risks. We already see the side effects of this new world of connectivity. These issues related to cybersecurity have obstructed Huawei’s access to the European 5G market. To relieve the concerns, Huawei proposed an anti-spy agreement to encourage Germany to participate in the country’s 5G networks. However, this action is unlikely to eliminate the wariness of European policymakers.

  • Health Problems: Some scientists raise concerns about new cell towers causing threats to human health. Although most studies have not linked signals from mobile phones and cell towers to illnesses, some researchers raise concerns about risks from cellular networks. With the increased number of small cells, there is more chance of exposure to microwaves, which could damage the skin or the nervous system.
  • These health-related concerns have slowed the [5] deployment of 5G. For instance, the Belgium government halted a 5G test in Brussels because of difficulty in measuring radiation emissions. Similarly, Switzerland has postponed the release of 5G and created a radiation monitoring system to assuage concerns.



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