The 5th generation network, commonly referred to as ‘5G Network’ is a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together. This will include machines, devices and objects. The network will offer both high speeds and high capacity capabilities unlike the 4G Network.

Currently, the issues of ‘network congestion’ still affect users especially during peak usage hours. This has become increasingly worse with many people working from home. Network stability especially for demanding use cases such as video streaming will no longer be a challenge with the 5G Network. Once it is deployed, the 4G phones will be ‘obsolete’.

To connect to this network most 4G mobile phones will be required to be unlocked for the 5G capability by mobile phone manufacturers or you will need to get a new smartphone that supports 5G. Manufacturers such as Nokia, Huawei and Samsung have produced various new mobile phones that are designed to support 5G. The cost of these devices currently is high.

A collection of smart phones

The main advantage with the 5G enabled phones is that they have low network latency, that is less time is taken by your ‘5G phone’ in making requests and the servers responding to those requests. Network latency or lag, describes the delays in communication over a network. With 5G Network, less amount of time will be taken for a packet of data to be captured, transmitted, processed through multiple devices, then received at its destination and decoded. 5G Network has superior performance over the 4G Network. Unfortunately, most parts of Africa are not covered with the 5G Network.

Other than the current features available in 4G Network, the 5G Network has more enhanced features. For example it will be of great use in smart cities.

Smart cities use different types of voice activation methods, electronic methods and sensors to collect specific data. The data is processed to obtain information used to manage resources, assets and services efficiently with the aim of improving the operations of the city. The data is collected from various sources e.g. devices, buildings and assets that is then processed and analyzed to monitor & manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, utilities, water supply networks, crime detection, information systems, hospitals, schools, waste and other community services.

For example, utility companies can have Internet of Things (IoT) meters to alert home owners on upcoming bills or to alert the utility company on leakages. In case of vandalism in isolated locations, activity triggered sensors can alert. In traffic control, traffic information such as alerts on traffic jams, suggestions of alternative routes, real time traffic monitoring will be obtained instantly in real time.

In healthcare, the 5G network will be helpful and reliable in quickly transferring huge data files of medical imagery like MRIs and PET scans. Telemedicine will become a reality in healthcare by enabling remote surgeries using robots.