5G – Wireless Communications

5G stands for the ‘fifth generation’ technology standard for broadband networks, which mobile phone companies started implementing in the UK in 2019. Although not yet widespread, 5G will ultimately take over from 4G in providing faster connectivity and greater bandwidth. This greater capacity will allow thousands of devices in a small area to be connected at the same time.

The reduction in latency (the time between instructing a wireless device to perform an action and that action being completed) means 5G is also more responsive. The connectivity and capacity offered by 5G is opening up the potential for new, innovative services.

What is 5G? (© Ofcom)

5G networks are divided into small geographical service areas called cells. Radio waves connect all wireless devices within each cell to the internet and mobile phone network through a local antenna. The increase in wireless efficiency will make new applications possible in the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning greater connectivity between physical electronic objects all over the world.

Samsung have produced a beginner’s guide to 5G – read it HERE.

Dr Des McLernon, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the University of Leeds, has made the video ‘Why do we need 5G and IoT?’ (below), and also a podcast ‘5G Technology in the Covid Age: Saviour or Dystopian Future?‘, both exploring the transformative and disruptive nature of 5G.

The University of Glasgow has created a series of videos to introduce 5G – watch the playlist HERE.

Find out more about 5G with the Scotland 5G Centre, the national hub accelerating the demand, deployment and adoption of 5G.