Why 5G isn’t quite what you think

Why 5G isn’t quite what you think


This video is brought to you by the number five and the letter G, and pretty soon, everything
else will be, too. If you’re watching this,
you probably have a “meh” Internet connection. But what if we told you it
could be so much better? Think fast, like a cheetah, with a rocket tied to its back fast. 5G is here, but what is it? And will it live up to the hype? We have the FAQs. The first generation cellular network, known as 1G, launched in Japan in 1979. The first phones weighed over two pounds, and cost the equivalent of $10,000 today, making that iPhone X look
almost affordable right now. Downloading a one gigabyte picture of Lionel Richie on 1G
would take one month, 18 days, 17 hours, two
minutes, and 47 seconds. “Well, I don’t care where or
how you get it, just get it.” Even in the early days, telephone and electronics companies knew that they were on to
something, but they needed to dial it in fast, so they switched from an analog radio signal
to digital transmission. “There are only a few thousand cellular phones in use right now, but that number is expected
to grow considerably within the next two years
during the cellular revolution.” And 2G was born. Now, in 2G, this one
gigabyte photo of Kurt Cobain would only take one day,
13 hours, 16 minutes, and 57 seconds to download. The digital era meant
a phone could now send text-based messages, but things
were still clunky and slow. “Well, what we’re gonna do is get rid of all these buttons, and
just make a giant screen.” “This is how you turn it on.” (audience applauds) “iPhone 3G.” (audience applauds) 3G was a game-changer, opening cell phones and computers to that small culture shift
called the Internet. Under 3G, this one gigabyte picture of Backstreet Boys would
take between 16 hours, 34 minutes, and 12 seconds
to one hour, 11 minutes, and 34 seconds, depending
on your connection, bringing us to 4G, today’s
broadband standard. 4G gave us strong video capabilities, basic game play, and social media. But we live in a full-on
video driven world now. In 4G-land, this one gigabyte picture of Lady Gaga would take one minute and 25 seconds to download completely. On a good day. A huge jump from 3G, but not even close to the
jump to the next generation. So without further ado, meet 5G. Shiny, right? 5G means fifth generation, and it solves the biggest problem holding back 4G, latency or lagging speed. Our phones today operate at about 50 milliseconds of latency. 5G, however, runs at less than
one millisecond of latency. You will just have to trust that that means really, really fast. Assuming a speed of 10
gigabytes per second, in 5G it would take less than a second to download a one gigabyte
photo of Peter Dinklage. And with all your free time, it takes only another
30 seconds to download the entire first season of
‘Game of Thrones’ in HD. And this transformation rewrites the future in countless ways. And it already has a name,
Internet of Things, or IoT. And everything from remotely
controlled surgeries to super smart homes to
truly autonomous vehicles will be connected. But to achieve instantaneous speeds, the infrastructure must come with it. 5G networks require a
completely new system of cell towers that operate
at a different frequency. They must be positioned
closer to people’s homes and businesses to repeat its signals. The world’s leading
economies are all vying to be the first to go
5G on a national scale, and experts say the U.S., China, and South Korea are the front-runners for an economy boost of $500 billion and three million new jobs. But there’s a catch. Building the infrastructure will cost lots and lots of money. For example, in South Korea,
with a small population and great infrastructure, the cost of 5G is set to exceed $8 billion for a single service provider. And according to Bloomberg,
the upgrade to 5G would cost $200 billion a year in order to be built in the U.S. AT&T became the first
wireless carrier in the U.S. to launch a mobile network
based on the 5G standard. It went live in 12 cities
on December 18th, 2018, but it’s not fully operational yet. Once it is, however, AT&T
said it will charge consumers $70 per month for 15 gigabytes. Not exactly cheap. T-Mobile promised to
have 5G up and running in 30 cities with actual
usage starting this year. And Verizon plans to release
a 5G hotspot as well. Mobile companies will do their best to market and advertise their efforts for the latest 5G enabled phone. We’ve seen this before with
the transition from 3G and 4G. If you remember, after 4G was rolled out, it took some time before we saw a significant speed increase. So give yourself time before diving headfirst into 5G related products. That 5G-enabled phone is no better than the current 4G without the
infrastructure upgrades. So beware of the early
rollouts that use 5G buzzwords or other gimmicks like ultra-wideband and 5G+ and 5G evolution. They may not actually give you
the speeds that 5G promises. And get ready for more
confusing names with 6G wireless and 10G broadband just around the corner. The momentum for 5G is coming fast, but not quite cheetah with a rocket fast. And even so, it’s slated
to be pretty awesome. (cat meows)

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