APR 22, 2019 9:58 AM PDT

The Science Behind 5G Internet and the Challenges That Remain

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Cellular companies such as AT&T and Verizon are already rolling out 5G networks in limited regions around the United States, with Sprint and T-Mobile set to follow sometime this year. Charter and Comcast's Xfinity are also reported to use Verizon's network for their 5G plans. But what’s all the hubbub about 5G cellular networks, and is it worth all the hype?

The good news is that 5G promises to be up to 10 times faster than 4G LTE, the current cellular data standard. This means that you could download a movie from Netflix in as little as 30 seconds as opposed to five minutes or more. But as you might come to expect, deploying such an advanced cellular network is no easy task, and several roadblocks remain.

5G internet has a very different radio frequency than 4G LTE, which means carriers will need to upgrade most of their backbone to make it happen. This will be a costly procedure, and carriers are still working out how they’ll build the vast number of cellular towers and data access points necessary for a properly-functioning 5G network.

Unlike a 4G LTE signal, which can travel nearly 10 miles, the 5G signal is only rated for about 1,000 feet. This means carriers will need to build many more towers, and perhaps load the streets up with cellular access points to ensure a seamless connection. As you might come to expect, governments have some resistance to this idea, as cellular towers aren’t that pretty.

There’s also a bit of concern that 5G radiation may impose increased health risks, including cancer, and while the FCC doesn’t think this will be a problem, they admit that more research is needed to come to a sound conclusion.

5G is essentially in its beta stages at the time of this writing and has only been rolled out to a small subset of cities with a very limited number of supported devices on the market. That said, the technology is expected to mature as time goes on, and this implies more supported devices and rollouts to additional cities.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 23, 2019
Technology
DEC 23, 2019
Can Artifical Intelligence Detect Leukemia?
Artificial intelligence has always been a hot topic of discussion in the medical sciences with a whirlwind of applications. However, know the latest curios...
DEC 25, 2019
Technology
DEC 25, 2019
Integrating Deep Learning for Online Shopping
As the holiday season approaches an end, all of us are familiar with online shopping. To shop on websites, we typically string a few words together to sear...
JAN 16, 2020
Neuroscience
JAN 16, 2020
New Wearable that Helps the Body Adapt to Stress
Physicians and neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed Apollo- a wearable they claim helps the body adapt to stress, improve sleep q...
JAN 28, 2020
Technology
JAN 28, 2020
Portable device analyzes microbes in the environment
Aquatic microbes often serve as challenge to study, after all, they are too tiny to detect. But, what if there was a device that can swiftly analyze aquati...
JAN 30, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 30, 2020
New Infrared Spectroscopic Method Grants Scientists Unprecedented "Seeing" Power
Infrared spectroscopy is a popular scientific method to identify and study molecules based on their absorption of infrared light. Scientists at the Max Pla...
FEB 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 17, 2020
SpaceX Launches More Starlink Satellites, But Fails First Stage Landing
SpaceX launched yet another one of its renowned Falcon 9 rockets on Monday, this time carrying a plethora of its Starlink satellites that will fortify the...
Loading Comments...