What is 5G technology? How is it different from 4G? What are its implications for telemedicine? What associations does it have with the Internet of things? What are the advantages and / or dangers for humans? With the coronavirus pandemic, fake news flooded social networks, many of them regarding the fact that 5G is related to the Covid-19 virus. However, what is 5G?
Invited to a dialogue in the show “Matinalii” broadcast by TVR Moldova, Dinu ȚURCANU, vice-rector of the Technical University of Moldova for Informatization, Partnerships, Institutional Image and Communication, gave an exhaustive definition to the much discussed 5G: “It is a technology of the future!”. The successor to 4G technology, the fifth generation of technology for wireless cellular networks is, in fact, a data transmission technology, tested for the first time in 2018. The advantage that everyone knows and discusses lies in the fact that data transfer rate is faster than what the 4G technology offers. The simple user will thus benefit from a higher data transport speed.
Then the questions arise: do we need a new speed of data transport? Why is this topic so often discussed?
Initially, when 5G technology began to be intensely promoted, this idea was very much associated with telemedicine – a very important and necessary factor, because in many cases, including the current pandemic, we would need many remote surgeries, which require a high data rate to ensure a high quality video with as little latency as possible for transporting that data. Thus, at present we clearly distinguish two main advantages of 5G technology: very high data transport speed (tens of gigabits per second), a very low latency (with 5G we can expect responses with a latency of 1 millisecond, while 4G is at 50 milliseconds), to which is added the ability to connect up to one million devices / objects per sq. km. This level of latency brings major benefits to different industries, such as healthcare or aviation, where the response rate is of prime importance. Although 5G offers much lower latency than 4G, only the values from real life scenarios should be taken into account.
The latter component highlights a new concept – the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves using the Internet to connect different devices – for example, internet-connected refrigerators, various other appliances, mobile phones, car devices, but also services, automated systems, thus forming a network of objects.
How necessary are these technologies for the Republic of Moldova? In theory, 5G can deliver speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G. In practice, users on a 5G network can download an entire season of a TV show in just a few minutes, play cloud games with impressive graphics, stream 4K videos seamlessly, and there will be more and more virtual reality and augmented reality applications.
Certainly, the world will be revolutionized by 5G, technology will enter and transform our lives. How safe is 5G technology for people and the environment?
As a core technology, 4G and 5G are relatively similar. But the latter is more advanced, being thought to be more efficient in terms of reducing interference between stations and allocating spectrum resources. The Internet on the phone advanced with 3G, exploded with 4G, and 5G will take it to another dimension.
“I don’t think people are afraid of new technologies – it’s natural for them to arouse public curiosity. However, I believe that accurate information is an essential element”, concluded the vice-rector of UTM, Dinu ȚURCANU.