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5G Network

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With 5G, mobile devices will be able to send and receive information in less than one-thousandth of a second, appearing instantaneous to the user.

5G Network: How It Works, and Is It Dangerous?

The fifth generation of cellular technology, 5G, is the next great leap in speed for wireless devices. This speed includes both the rate mobile users can download data to their devices and the latency, or lag, they experience between sending and receiving information.

5G aims to deliver data rates that are 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. Users should expect to see download speeds on the order of gigabits per second (Gb/s), much greater than the tens of megabits per second (Mb/s) speeds of 4G .

“That’s significant because it will enable new applications that are just not possible today,” said Harish Krishnaswamy, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University in New York. “Just for an example, at gigabits per second data rates, you could potentially download a movie to your phone or tablet in a matter of seconds. Those type of data rates could enable virtual reality applications or autonomous driving cars.”

Apart from requiring high data rates, emerging technologies that interact with the user’s environment like augmented reality or self-driving cars will also require extremely low latency. For that reason, the goal of 5G is to achieve latencies below the 1-millisecond mark.

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