5G - The Fifth Generation Cellular Technology: Drivers, Trends, & Outlook
In the fascinating era of 5G cellular technology, there is a possibility that a huge transformation of human societies and businesses will take place. From enhanced mobile broadband to ultra-reliable low latency, 5G is about to bring new revolutions in the business industry and human societies. The 5G is paving the way for new trends and applications that are not possible in 4G and 4.5G. Several countries and organizations have already initiated the 5G deployment for allowing access to high-speed internet and connectivity.
5G will herald a new era of technology in the upcoming future. 5G is set to bring major changes in fields like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, etc. The development of 5G will also boost the development of self-driving cars, smart cities, industrial automation, smart medication, smart farming, smart education, etc. In addition, 5G provides reduced data transfer time, improved connectivity, etc. which is profitable for both industries and societies.
This research report by GoodFirms titled "5G - The Fifth Generation Cellular Technology: Drivers, Trends, & Outlook" aims to determine the factors that drive the growth of the 5G network. In addition, this research will also identify the trends and future outlook of the 5G cellular technology.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- #Self Driving Cars
- #Connectivity in Healthcare
- #Industry 4.0/Industrial Automation
- #Change in the Workplace Experience
- #IoT Developments
- #Smart And Public Cities
5G is inevitable and those who want to stay ahead of the market for driving growth must upgrade to it. 5G will bring unprecedented changes in human and machine communication in terms of enhanced reliability, high-speed transfer of quantum of data, and low latency. It also promises to improve data delivery with improved performance, more incredible speed, and accommodate more devices. 5G is also expected to completely change the way humans interact with technology. 5G enables rapid data transfer in gigabytes, bringing low latency, high bandwidth, etc. for ensuring quick information processing.
The transfer of information from Kilobytes per second to megabytes per second allows people and businesses to develop sustainable and creative innovations. With the assistance of 5G, almost every sector can expect unprecedented growth for achieving sustainability.
This research titled: ‘5G - The Fifth Generation Cellular Technology: Drivers, Trends, & Outlook’ by GoodFirms identifies the driving factors shaping the 5G growth. This research study by GoodFirms also attempts to analyze the 5G outlook and trends that 5G will bring with its continuous developments and upgrades.
5G Cellular Network - Drivers, Trends, and Outlook
The evolution of cellular networks from 1G to 4G brought numerous human technology and communication changes. The people in the world are becoming universally connected. As of 2021, several countries have already started the work on 5G deployment.
The 5G wireless technology will bring significant improvements in connectivity in almost all sectors, including businesses, industries, etc.
Factors Driving the 5G Revolution
#Enhanced Mobile Broadband
4G brought various transformations in society and businesses; however, it presents a diverse set of challenges associated with existing networks and infrastructure. There is a considerable need to enhance mobile broadband connectivity, one of the core driving factors of 5G cellular technology.
The enhanced mobile broadband is an innovative 5G driver aiming to improve the user’s experience in this digital world. In addition, it is also seeking to focus on those facilities which are a must for high bandwidth.(1)
The enhanced mobile broadband of 5G technology can boost access to services, multimedia content, data, etc., with higher transmission rates and high capacity. 5G cellular technology is comparatively very advanced in mobile broadband compared to previous cellular technologies.
The Spotify playlists which took hours in 4G can be downloaded in seconds on 5G. There is a huge variation in the uploading and downloading of data in 5G as compared to 4G.
Convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi6E with 5G
5G mobile network is even faster and better than the Wi-fi 6 and Wi-fi 6E in terms of performance, extended coverage, etc. Wi-Fi 6 - the latest wireless LAN standard is, also known as 802.11ax, is said to be superseding Wi-Fi 5 in terms of performance, extended coverage, and longer battery life. The Wi-Fi 6E is the sixth generation of the technology that uses the same underlying technology as the Wi-Fi 6 but runs on the 6GHz unlicensed spectrum. Wi-Fi 6 is wireless LAN and works indoors, and 5G is cellular and works outdoors – cell phones and other mobile gadgets. Wi-fi 6 and 6E work only indoors but 5G works both indoors and outdoors. The IEEE has been discussing the possible ways of convergence by sharing the same spectrum, however, the convergence is still at an early stage. For a connected life experience for consumers the convergence of 5G and WiFi 6 is critical.
#Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication
From intelligent transport systems and smart grids to remote surgery, ultra-reliable low latency communication is the critical requirement for ensuring success. This communication is now efficient and better due to 5G cellular technology development.(2) Ultra reliability low latency communication is an essential requirement for ensuring efficient transfer of a considerable amount of data in milliseconds with high reliability and download speed.
The development of new services and applications needs high data transfer with low latency to ensure responsiveness. 5G meets this requirement and supports mission-critical applications such as intelligent transportation systems, smart grids, industrial internet, etc. In addition, low latency is also a critical component for communicating with vehicles, drones, high-speed trains, industrial robots, etc. due to which it is a driving factor for 5G.(3)
Security was one of the most prominent concerns in 4G and lower cellular technologies, which were also a driving force behind 5G. 5G technology will connect different components, users, and services, due to which security is one of the critical concerns. Attack on one can impact the entire community or business. Therefore, every shareholder, like the government, network provider, business, etc., needs to work closely and effectively to ensure the security of the 5G system and network.(4) However, it’s not easy to bypass the 5G systems due to the encryption layers.
The 5th generation cellular technology is much more secure than the previous generations. The modern spectrum of 5G with high data levels allows 5G to be faster, which will enable the development of specific IoT applications in the future.(5) Also, 5G will provide ubiquitous, ultra-reliable, machine-to-machine Communication broadband access for cellular devices and cyber-physical systems.
#Massive Machine-type Communications
This is another major factor driving the development and growth of 5G technology. A vast number of digital devices are available in the market at present. This number is also estimated to increase in the upcoming time due to technological and 5G advancements. Due to such a high number of devices, it becomes essential to connect them efficiently for transmitting the information quickly. This connectivity among different devices can be acquired through the assistance of 5G.
Quick massive machine-type communications are a must when many devices need to be connected. This connectivity is beneficial in developing IoT applications associated with smartphones, sensors, cameras, etc., for governmental and personal uses. Communication across such a massive number of devices is a must which is possible through 5G only. This massive machine-type communication through 5G will drive growth and environmental gains.(6)
#Advancements In Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence contributes to the industrial revolution in the present century and offers tremendous opportunities to businesses worldwide. Artificial intelligence provides unlimited opportunities in intelligent transport, networked cities, computer networks, etc.(7) The use of 4G networks fails in grasping these opportunities, due to which 5G comes into play.
Artificial intelligence and 5G technology can enormously deliver better productivity, save business costs, and develop innovative products and services. Due to this immense potential, artificial intelligence is driving the growth of 5G networks and infrastructure worldwide.
In addition, artificial intelligence needs a vast amount of data to function correctly, due to which 5G is a must to develop efficient products and services through artificial intelligence. The rise of 5G will bring multiple opportunities for innovations and upgrades in the artificial intelligence sector. Artificial intelligence combined with 5G technology can drive tremendous investment opportunities in emerging markets. Emerging market sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, education, etc., require transformation through artificial intelligence that requires 5G to function correctly.(8) There is a growing interest of businesses in combining artificial intelligence and 5G to develop mainstream applications useful for social transformation.
Potential Impact of 5G on Different Industries
4G brought several changes in human lives but still, the issues such as low latency, low network capacity, etc. are impacting almost all industries. 5G is addressing these issues and bringing new opportunities for several industries ranging from manufacturing to media and entertainment. Some of these industries that can see this disruption are as follows:
Energy: The energy sector will see significant growth due to the 5G cellular technology. 5G-powered devices and applications will assist the energy industry in acquiring real-time insights regarding energy usage and power cuts. From 5G-powered drones to 5G-connected smart meters, various new innovative solutions will be implemented in production, distribution, transmission, and use.(9) The energy sector is also expected to experience a new wave of efficiency and innovative grid features.
Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry is one of the critical industries of an economy for achieving self-sufficiency and development. 5G can add close to $740 million to the GDP of the manufacturing sector if appropriately implemented.(10) 5G is full of potential for the global manufacturing industry and will completely transform the supply chains, factory operations, and network connectivity. This will reduce the manufacturing costs and bring significant changes in increasing the productivity of both employees and machines.
5G cellular technology can also improve the various manufacturing activities that depend upon network connectivity. It will also lead to a reduction in the calamities and dangers among employees when working between machines. In addition, 5G technology will also enhance the ability of manufacturers for controlling the quality and monitor the manufacturing process.(11)
Agriculture: 5G network will play a vital role in transforming the Agri sector. The agriculture sector will see an unexpected increase in the yields and quality of crops while utilizing less labor. In addition, 5G, along with other technologies, will lead to new developments in precision and smart farming.(12) This will allow the farmers and businesses to make effective and informed decisions. Moreover, the 5G developments are also beneficial in automating the farm operations that will help form unmanned farms.
5G is set to activate the development of applications like virtual consultation, real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, etc., for achieving secure, environment-friendly, and energy-efficient farming.(13) Food production can also increase with automated and 5G-powered farm equipment if implemented properly. The drones powered with 5G technology can also be used for different farming practices such as sprinkling nutrients and manure, looking after the defects and health of plants, etc. The utilization of 5G technology in agriculture and farming will allow farmers to make better decisions regarding their crops.
Gaming: The gaming industry is one of the most popular industries people use to spend their time. The gaming industry is also on the verge of transformation due to the 5G developments and network. By leveraging the power of ultra-fast data transfer, gaming organizations can develop newer versions of games in which data will be stored on cloud servers with faster connectivity.(14) At present, accessing data from cloud servers is a time-consuming process due to high latency. With the 5G assistance, this can change, and people can easily access their gaming data on servers for a better gaming experience. In addition, the response time between servers, users, and accessories will be less.
Mobile app development: 5G technology will bring a new, more innovative, and more sustainable future. Due to low latency, colossal connectivity across nodes, etc. IoT implementation across mobile applications will be flawless. 5G will enhance human interaction with vehicles, intelligent wearables, and homes, opening new opportunities in the broader application.(15) In addition, 5G-powered applications will also provide a better user experience to the consumers in terms of smooth video quality, better sounds, high resolution in live streaming, etc.
However, due to faster speed and huge operational load, 5G can drain the battery of mobile devices faster. The developers need to ensure that the application that they are developing can accommodate high data speed so that the battery drain can be lowered. 5G is pretty fast, and it can drain your phone battery unless the apps accommodate high data speeds. Apple, Android has already started accommodating 5G capability within their products. Counterpoint Research indicated the global sales of 5G smartphones crossed the sales of 4G handsets back in January 2022.(16)
Medical: The doctors and other healthcare professionals can easily diagnose and treat the patients remotely without any issues. 5G along with artificial intelligence can assist in proper diagnoses and treatment with utmost accuracy. In addition, both patients and healthcare professionals can download/upload the medical information of the patients for bringing efficiency to healthcare.
Transportation: 5G can supplement the autonomous driving technology by providing high-speed processing capabilities for computation and analysis of driving data, traffic updates, road structure info, and many more. Faster responses to emergencies, high-speed transmission of vehicle data to smart city developers and traffic controllers will also help in efficiently managing city traffic.
Top Trends Driving the 5G Revolution
As the 5G wireless technology develops further, it will create a paradigm shift in the way people, devices, and information connect. The 5G will enhance the data transfers and bandwidth that, in turn, will assist in the development of new opportunities. These opportunities will also create recent trends that benefit both people and businesses. Some of these trends are discussed below:
#Self Driving Cars
Self-driving cars will acquire essential information through sensors, messages from other cars and objects, etc. It becomes vital for the cars to obtain the critical data from these sources within milliseconds to make decisions regarding turning, moving, braking, parking, etc.(17) Also, self-driving cars need a complete roadmap with a reliable communication system with low latency, provided by 5G cellular technology. This communication system will also assist traveling self-driving cars in interacting with other cars and their environment.
Self-driving cars in the present time still need improvements due to high latency and network issues. 5G will address these issues by making the vehicles smarter, faster, and safer. Several organizations are already testing autonomous cars but with worries about safety and security. 5G will significantly reduce the interaction timings between sensors and control for ensuring the safety of passengers.(18)
In addition, the 5G-powered accessories of self-driving cars will make them safer in driving compared to humans.
#Connectivity in Healthcare
Healthcare will also experience significant changes due to the 5G cellular developments and deployment. 5G wireless network technology will be proved useful in enhancing home care and improving patient outcomes. The impact of 5G on healthcare will be huge and generate more than $192.3 billion, 1.7 million jobs, and $120.1 billion GDP contribution by 2027 in the US only.(19)
5G will enable the transfer of critical medical data to the healthcare centers in less than seconds through wearables, sensors, etc. With 5G cellular technology, people can prevent intensive care at health centers which will also save the costs of the system as well as of patients.(20)
Since the 5G arrival a few years back, the transformation of the healthcare system is already a work in progress and expected to gain pace in the future. Present-day healthcare systems are now upgrading their systems to 5G for accommodating the needs of intelligent healthcare applications of the future.
#Industry 4.0/Industrial Automation
Industry 4.0 is among the leading trends driven by 5G cellular technology. Industry 4.0 is usually used for the automation and data exchange practices practiced in several sectors due to 5G developments. From retail to manufacturing, several terminologies and processes will be influenced and transformed associated with services, logistics, supply chain, etc.(21)
The 4G and 4.5G networks cannot effectively support emerging technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, Artificial intelligence, smart cities, etc. 5G can resolve this problem. With the help of 5G, Edge computing, and AI, Industry 4.0 can enhance the productivity of business operations for bringing efficiency and cutting costs.(22)
The 5G will drive the automation and digitization of industry 4.0 due to its high speed, reliability, and secure broadband experience. In addition, the 5G network will also enable the development of virtual networks explicitly tailored to the application requirements such as machine-to-machine retail, manufacturing, mobile broadband communications, etc.(23) Moreover, industry 4.0 will dominate the manufacturing processes due to the continuous developments in 5G, IoT, and artificial intelligence. 5G will connect a wide range of industries for mutual benefits and development.
#Change in the Workplace Experience
Disruptions in work experience is another 5G trend that people will witness in the future. New disruptions, including automation, agility, customization, etc., will transform the workplace in terms of collaboration and experience. The faster transfer of information will open up new opportunities for employees in terms of flexibility and new collaborative practices.(24) Employees can work in new agile ways, which will assist the work environment in becoming more responsive, personalized, and predictive.
Intelligent buildings and facilities will reduce workplace accidents and other dangers, which will motivate the employees to work better without any worries. Digital systems powered by 5G can enhance the workplace experience of both employees and management when appropriately implemented.
At present, 4G networks are used in IoT products and services. However, there is a dire need for 4G networks to evolve continuously to match the future IoT requirements. In addition, present IoT solutions face several challenges such as multiple connecting nodes, new standards, security, etc.(25) Businesses can eliminate such challenges by using 5G networks instead of 4G.
5G network will boost the cellular operations, network challenges, IoT security, etc., for a digital future. The upcoming time will see massive growth in the IoT developments due to 5G. Soon, there will be more than 7 trillion IoT devices that can only connect through 5G, not 4G.(26)
5G will act as a foundational stone for the new developments in IoT and will assist the existing IoT devices to realize their true potential. The low latency of 5G and the ability to quickly transfer huge chunks of data plays a crucial role in paving the way for new IoT devices and effectively connecting them. From drones to mobiles, social media to home, everything will stay in touch in the future with the assistance of 5G.
#Smart And Public Cities
Smart cities are urban areas in which some functions execute automatically by collecting the data from sensors and digital methods. Intelligent cities depend upon information and communication technology to enhance the quality of services and facilities delivered to the public. 5G cellular technology allows reliable and smooth connectivity between devices and applications due to which it can connect the different components of smart cities in less time.(27)
The concept of smart cities has been a work in progress for several years, but it will rapidly progress shortly as a 5G-driven trend. 5G will enhance the speed of imaginative city visions through innovative governance, innovative industries, and intelligent living. 5G is set to transform the concept of smart cities from dreams to reality. With the increased popularity of smart cities, developments in innovative city applications are also expected to rise. The majority of these innovative city applications will be based on making the existing transportation, security, healthcare, governance, etc. systems into smart ones.(28)
5G will also assist smart cities in efficiently managing traffic signals and self-driving vehicles. From innovative city applications to intelligent transportation systems, 5G technology will hugely impact human societies and economies.
Outlook - Benefits and Challenges
The continuous deployment of 5G is enabling people to connect with each other in a more sophisticated manner. The rapid data transfer feature of 5G is ensuring better connectivity not only among humans but between machines too. Businesses can leverage the power of 5G for smoothly executing their functions and operations. 5G network can deliver several benefits to both people and companies but also, a few challenges are lying ahead. Several prominent businesses are already focusing on 5G cellular technology for their advantages and delivering new products. This section will talk about the benefits and challenges of 5G technology.
Benefits of 5G
5G cellular technology can transform human society and the industrial sector. From finance to manufacturing, almost all the sectors will see a vast range of changes due to high and efficient connectivity. The low latency and ultra-reliable data transfer are leading to various benefits and transformations for both people and businesses. Some of these benefits are as follows:
High-speed Mobile Network
The development of 5G cellular technology was a significant changer in improving mobile devices' downloading and uploading speed. The speed, which was limited to Megabytes per second in 4G, is now Gigabytes per second. 5G network is different from the previous generations and mobile transmission technologies in various ways for mobiles.
From low latency to high-speed data transmission, 5G will allow all humans to communicate with each other and devices better. Mobile activities like video streaming, gaming, browsing, etc., will become rapid for a smooth user experience.(29) Adding more to it, 5G network will enable easy access to high processing units and cloud servers for better network performance and reliability. There are significant improvements in the rendering and connectivity speed which leads to an enriched and enhanced virtual experience.
Enhanced Socio-Economic Well-Being
Various prominent experts and organizations are working on 5G trends and applications to transform how people did things in the past. From smart cities to self-driving cars, human lives will change significantly. In addition, 5G cellular technology will also contribute to the well-being of people by reducing accidents and other potential injuries. The break-free connectivity between the physical and digital world will empower the human population in working efficiently and effectively.
The implementation of 5G technology in the healthcare and transportation systems will lead to improved services. The improvements in services will assist the population in efficiently executing their work. In addition, 5G technology will contribute trillions of dollars to global GDP by 2035, and businesses engaged in 5G will see exponential growth in the upcoming years.(30)
Enhanced Levels of Public Services
Public services are a critical component of any economy that looks after the needs and concerns of the local public. With 5G technology, better public services can be delivered to the citizens for their welfare. Public services like 911 emergency, ambulance, fire department, police, etc. can effectively communicate with each other when needed. In addition, the authorities can also properly acquire the location information of criminals, collaborators, patients, etc. to ensure smooth execution of the task. The response time and action time of authorities will also drastically improve with the assistance of 5G-powered devices and networks.
- Wireless technology
- Reduction in latency
- Significant improvement in connectivity speed
- Faster downloads
- An enhanced and enriched virtual experience
- Seamless transmission of huge data for businesses
- Break-free connectivity between the digital and the physical world
- Can connect a wide range of industries
Challenges of 5G
5G can boost the network performance for achieving more outstanding capabilities. However, some challenges can impact this boost or 5G network. These challenges can negatively impact the results sought by the developers. Challenges such as increasing resilience on 5G, 5G network resiliency, connectivity with different wavelengths, etc. are putting a question mark on 5G deployment across all sectors. Some of other such challenges are as follows:
Implementational issues in 5G systems
5G applications require end-to-end information delivery in the lowest possible time with security and reliability. Lack of dedicated bandwidth and poor channel quality will be the significant obstacles preventing the desired results.(31) This may be possible in the cases when bandwidth loss occurs due to improper implementation or bugs. In addition, the supply chain vulnerabilities in the information and communications technology also pose a great challenge to 5G implementation.
Security Issues Due to a Broad Range of Applications
5th generation cellular technology will efficiently connect different devices, which will also give rise to new services compared to previous generations. Consumer use and hacker activities will also increase with the rise of new services. An increased chance of network attack by hackers is also posing a threat to 5G. Strong security measures are needed to prevent hackers and create a safe and secure environment. Activities like data fabrication and eavesdropping can also increase if proper steps are not sought.(32)
Spectrum Allocation Issues
5G supports high broadband speed, low latency, etc. which assists the IoT in unleashing its full potential for supporting a greater range of use cases. However, in order to unleash this potential, 5G needs spectrum in three bands which are low, mid, and high.(33) Proper allocation of spectrum across these three is essential to achieve fast speed and data delivery which governments and regulators often fail to allocate. In addition, the need to add more bands for the growth of 5G is also leading to spectrum allocation issues.
Most Current Devices Don’t Support 5G SIMS
At present time, a huge number of mobile devices are present in the market that are working based on 4G technology. They can’t use 5G cellular technology or 5G sims due to downgraded hardware and software. This is a major challenge for the growth of 5G technology. The majority of these devices can only support upto 4.5G which poses a threat to the rise of 5G. The present 4G devices need to be changed with 5G compatible devices in order to support the 5G sims.
The integration of 5G in the existing 4G infrastructure is also one of the major challenges in the expansion of 5G. Existing 4G infrastructure requires the addition of IP-enabled macro and small cells for supporting 5G. In addition, backhaul capacity also needs to be upgraded delivering high traffic and data transfer.(34) The implementation of these new features in the existing infrastructure will require extra time and funds which can hinder the growth of 5G deployment.
Beamforming is a processing technique that is used for signals capable of reception or directional transmission. Beamforming through 5G will allow directional communication with several antenna elements however some implementational, design issues are posing a challenge to the success of 5G technology. The first and foremost challenge of 5G beamforming is that the different components associated with beamforming need close monitoring for ensuring effective communication. In addition, the testing on prototypes should be done in populated cities to maintain healthy communication during the implementation phase.(35)
Another major challenge that can impact beamforming is the measurement challenge. There is a high need to visualize and verify the performance of 5G beamforming at the RF antenna array including RF antenna calibration accuracy, the correctness of beamforming weighting algorithms, etc.(36)
- 5G is one of the fastest wireless network technologies aimed to enhance the living standard of people.
- Enhanced mobile broadband is one of the major driving forces behind 5G.
- Ultra-reliable, low latency communication is critical for intelligent transport systems, smart grids, and remote surgery.
- Network security is also one of the growth drivers behind the 5G growth.
- 5G will connect a considerable number of devices, due to which communication among these massive machines is a must.
- The advancements in artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning, etc., will contribute to the development of newer 5G applications.
- Industries ranging from energy to manufacturing, agriculture to gaming, etc., will see a massive impact due to the high reliability of 5G, the ability to connect multiple devices, etc.
- 5G involvement will make self-driving cars safer, smarter, and faster in the future.
- 5G cellular technology will also transform the Healthcare system into better home care, improved patient outcomes, and flexibility between the healthcare system and users.
- 5G networks will also assist in Industry 4.0 or industrial automation for efficient operations and reduced accidents in manufacturing.
- Due to increased connectivity, employees' workplace experience will also help boost the productivity of employees and organizations.
- Smart and public cities will rise due to the advantages of 5G in transportation, security, healthcare, governance, etc.
The 5th generation mobile network is a promising technology for ensuring the quick transmission of data and information with security. 5G is likely to bring a vast revolution in human society from high downloading speed to smart cities. The capability to connect multiple devices simultaneously and high data transfer speed will be the significant factors for the 5G growth. Enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communication, security, massive machine types communication, etc., are the leading 5G drivers. A rapid transformation will be seen in several sectors such as energy, manufacturing, healthcare, etc., that will benefit the people.
Industry automation driven by 5G technology will hugely influence operations, management, controlling, etc., enhancing productivity. From 5G-powered agriculture through drones to homecare through wearables, people will experience several changes in their lifestyle. In addition, IoT developments, artificial intelligence, etc., will also boost the 5G growth. AR and VR integrations will also increase due to a broad scope.
- Social Media Usage Report: User Habits You Need to Know
- Top Reasons A Brand Gets Unfollowed on Social Media: GoodFirms Study
- How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App? | GoodFirms Survey
- Website Design Stats And Trends For Small Businesses - GoodFirms Research
- Remarkably Useful Stats and Trends on Software Development | GoodFirms Research