What is 5G?

Eleven things that will help you understand 5G and what it can do for you

5G is here, and it won’t just mean you can download a movie to your tablet in seconds, it will revolutionize business and industry with super-fast data transmission speeds and ultra-low latency.

1. Speed

The speed of an Internet connection is the amount of data transferred in a given time. An Internet connection consists of a transmission speed (upload) and a reception speed (download).

Upload is the speed of data transmission to the Internet. It is important for sending files, emails and data-hungry services like videoconferencing.

Download is the speed of data transmitted to you from the Internet. A fast download speed enables you to stream HD movies or download large files. The much-faster speeds of 5G are important to business, such as in the manufacturing industry, where it brings better control over automatic systems due to the faster data journey.

2. Latency

Latency is the reaction time of a network caused by the delay in transmitting data across that network. The low latency of 5G, with a response time that is almost real time, will bring great opportunities to Industry 4.0, telemedicine and autonomous vehicles.

3. Edge computing

Edge computing is about analyzing the data collected by a connected object near its source, without it having to travel back to the cloud servers. Edge computing, enabled by 5G, is particularly suitable for controlling a large matrix of connected objects.

4. Slicing

Slicing involves cutting the 5G network into slices, reserving certain slices for priority use to ensure absolute quality of service. This finely-tuned allocation of bandwidth to mission-critical operations brings big opportunities in managing critical connectivity. Business use would include industrial production lines, where the slightest interruption can disrupt revenue and profitability.

5. Smart Cities

Smart Cities use information and communication technologies to improve the quality of urban services, such as public transport, lighting, signage and security, while reducing operating costs. The possibilities include employing the speed and flexibility of 5G to revolutionize traffic management using real-time data.

6. Network virtualization

With virtualization, network functions are flexible and easily deployed and reconfigured. NFV (Network Function Virtualization) uses standard servers to run network service software, while SDN (Software-Defined Networking) controls the 5G network using software rather than physical equipment.

7. Massive IoT

5G is at the heart of Massive IoT, the interconnection of hundreds of thousands of sensors and connected objects. In an industrial environment, Massive IoT will enable such improvements as closer control of plant equipment to manage efficiency and carbon footprint.

8. Critical IoT

Critical IoT demands the transmission of data from sensors and connected objects within a limited amount of time. The low latency and reliability of 5G can meet this demand and open the door for IoT applications in critical areas like connected cars, healthcare equipment and industrial applications.

9. LTE-Machine, or LTE-M

The LTE-Machine network has been specially designed for the Internet of Things. It improves the accessibility of connected objects by using low frequencies and optimizes energy consumption using standby mode. LTE-M will be a key building block of 5G.

10. Bandwidth

The amount of data that can be transmitted on a single transmission channel is known as bandwidth. With 5G, bandwidth can be controlled and adjusted for a variety of use cases such as: cities, territories, industrial applications, technological and university campuses, stadiums, hospitals and exhibition halls.

11. Resilience

Resilience is the ability of a network to continue operating despite an incident (such as a technical failure, spike in activity, malicious act, etc.). Since resilience, like cybersecurity, is an essential pillar in the deployment of 5G, downtime must be absolutely limited and data restored rapidly.

Learn more about 5G in this article: 5G: an overview of its future applications.

Glenn Le Santo
Glenn Le Santo

Editor in Chief, International, at Orange Business. I'm in charge of our International website and the English language blogs at Orange Business. In my spare time I'm literally captain of my own ship, spending my time on the wonderful rivers and canals of England.