5G Exploration

Recently, 5G (5th generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks or 5th generation wireless system) is definitely a hot topic in the financial news and TV commercial, which is depicted as the core technology affecting our future such as business models in various industries (e.g. logistics, gaming, automated/connected vehicles), Cloud & Edge Computing, and lifestyles.  As an active social media mobile user following the fashionable technology, I am fascinated by how 5G can pragmatically improve our working and social life.  As a result, I try to explore what 5G can really do from view of a technology novice.


The TV commercial is always highlighting 5G with features such as high speed (10-20 times of 4G) and low latency, which are crucial for IoT (Internet of Things), another closely related hot technological concept.  IoT is generally portrayed as a network of things (devices/objects) with embedded sensors, programs or other technologies where the things are connected and communicated to exchange data over the internet. Riding on these connected data, real time analytics, state of the art technologies like machine learning or AI, connected systems could build up various SMART networked applications for us, e.g. smart home, smart office, enhanced VR gaming experience, self-driving car or connected cars, enhanced digital/video marketing with instant interactions, smart manufacturing, digital transformation, etc.


Another powerful feature of 5G is that it can support up to a million devices per square kilometer.  This would provide a more favorable platform for the Edge Computing that allows computation and data storage closer to the users or smart applications to improve the response times and correlation of the connected devices, e.g. self-driving cards are connected to ensure smooth flow of traffic and avoid accident. While Cloud Computing provides the computing power and data storage resources to achieve economies of scale, Edge Computing would be an enhanced version to address those system applications closely connected and requiring fast response and instant communications.