Without question, 5G is the technology we should all be excited about. And there are enough compelling reasons to believe that this decade will usher in a new revolution for cities and the way they function. 3G transitioned mobile devices into broadband-enabled connections that have revolutionized our businesses, our daily lives, and fundamentally changed how we interact. 4G raised the bar for existing technologies, and also established a wave of technologies that are now widespread and transforming all facets of city life. And 5G is the next generation of wireless technology and quite simply, the most advanced wireless network ever created.
Even if you’re not particularly interested in the amazing technical breakthroughs that define 5G like ‘low latency’, ‘intelligent power consumption’, ‘high device density’ and ‘network slicing’ there are at least 5 things you should know to get up to speed:
- ‘Strictly speaking, 5G is a set of technical rules that define the workings of a cellular network and include things like the radio frequencies used and how various components such as computer chips and antennas handle signals and exchange data’.¹
- ‘5G will dramatically improve the responsiveness of all the current technologies on your phone, as well as make it possible for your home internet to come over the air rather than a telephone wire, cable or satellite dish’. ²
- ‘5G will boost new and existing technologies across a vast range of industries ranging from connected vehicles and devices to smart cities and homes; from augmented and virtual reality to the Internet of Things and Big Data’.³
- ‘5G is designed to be a unified platform that will natively support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (low, mid, high), a wide range of deployment models (from traditional macro-cells to hotspots), as well as new ways to interconnect (such as device-to-device and multi-hop mesh)’.⁴
- ‘5G will require new transmission infrastructure known as small cells and DAS (distributed antenna systems) that will be deployed on utility poles, mini-towers, and underground data centers’ ⁵ [See Bob's Box].
How 5G will change the Way Cities Function.
A city is an ecosystem which allows us to live, work, transit and communicate, but at the present time, most cities don't serve every citizen. A successful city harnesses its resources to ensure everyone can access quality services and spaces whether it's a city street, bus terminus, municipal building, or public park.
One of the greatest resources the city has at its disposal is data. The promise of 5G is to enable layers of smart data throughout a city that enable economic growth, and sustainable development in an environmentally healthy way. The potential of 5G lies in its ability to help government, business, and citizens reimagine the way cities function.
- 5G will allow citizens to interface with technology in a way we’ve never been able to before. And will be as important as 20th-century inventions like radio and television were for their impact on everyday life. Today internet speeds of 100Gbps (gigabytes per second) enable applications that the first generation of digital networks never could. 5G will enable applications that 5 years ago were simply unimaginable.
- So-called "Smart Cities” enabled by 5G will be optimized by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, and will spur development of capabilities to deal with the environmental and security challenges common to all cities. Cities will define themselves by innovative approaches to waste management, water management, public spaces, transportation, and social engagement.
- 5G will enable traffic lights to change color based on real-time events and conditions. Traffic cameras will have a fast and direct connection straight to police stations. Noise sensors will be used to record the levels of noise in the city. Energy sensors will be installed to record energy outputs across the city. And waste sensors will be deployed to record information on waste in the city that will enable the city to make any relevant changes to collection, recycling, and more.
- 5G will help to re-engineer the types of information that flow around public spaces so that cities can help residents better serve themselves. And smarter city planning using data analytics will be harnessed to engage residents as innovators and problem solvers in the city, not just consumers.
- City ecosystems will become more diverse and interactive, as citizens will build their own micro-ecosystems(mesh networks) that provide new ways of engaging and leveraging services in their own communities to improve their quality of life.
- 5G connectivity will also mean more opportunities for businesses to engage with city residents. With a lot of attention on collecting data, there is a potential for helping citizens discover and access better and more holistic solutions to their needs and wants.
- There will be millions of new connected devices—everything from billboards, vending machines and storefront displays to autonomous vehicles. They will be connected by small 5G cell sites that can be placed anywhere.
- The 5G Evolution will make almost everything more intelligent, enable new technologies to better serve our needs, and could allow us to lead a more enjoyable life, since we will have a much more powerful ability to manage and optimize what we consume, and how we manage our waste.
The 5G Evolution will make almost everything more intelligent, enable new technologies to better serve our needs, and could allow us to lead a more enjoyable life, since we will have a much more powerful ability to manage and optimize what we consume, and how we manage our waste.
5G: New Infrastructure Challenges & Opportunities
The bottom line: It's about to get really exciting, really fast. The chasm is closing as the four major wireless carriers are building commercial 5G networks expected to cover 60% of the US population by mid-decade. Soon, the telcos will be moving from speculation about the next generation of technology to making arrangements with home builders and equipment providers. We will see the sale of 5G services by the early 2020s. And as that happens, it won't take much to start imagining how it will change our lives. It will be a quantum leap forward, for our generation and beyond.
However, there is one aspect of 5g we cannot overlook: We're building something in which the boundaries will be changing frequently. And the challenge for both Carriers and City Officials will be in building the infrastructure to accommodate such unprecedented connectivity.
InfraSite provides an innovative base station solution that forms the basis of its value proposition for the smart city network. InfraSite simplifies the process of building small cell sites by combining economies of scale and system-to-system reliability.
To reduce waste and maintain a small geographic footprint for 5G infrastructure, companies can mix and match InfraSite’s proprietary base station solutions with fiber network coverage solutions to create a unique asset that can adapt to a variety of environmental conditions without affecting reliability.
The explosion of the small cell network – capable of handling 100x the traffic volume at one time – will demand better infrastructure. InfraSite provides a configurable solution that maintains the same level of performance and availability throughout the wireless site location.
InfraSite’s solutions keep wireless service providers competitive without missing out on the latest smart technology, and is dedicated to delivering the most powerful and scalable small cell and wireless infrastructure solutions to cities of all sizes. InfraSite serves Telecom companies, private businesses, and city municipalities. And helps customers gain a competitive edge, reduce network costs, and increase user satisfaction. Click to learn more.