What is “5G” and how much will it benefit a common Pakistani?

When mobile companies launched 3G and 4G networks in Pakistan a few years ago, the happiest thing for consumers was that they could now access the Internet faster than ever through their mobile phones.

Now, Pakistani telecom companies Jazz and Zong have recently begun testing 5G networks and their discussions are taking place everywhere on social media.

Below are five things you need to know about this fifth generation of mobile networks.

What is “G”?

When it comes to mobile communication, scientists describe the major and fundamental changes in technology with “Generation” or “G”.

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When mobile phones were first introduced in the 1980s, they used radio waves not digital technology. Because of this, it produce noise during conversations over the phone. This system was called First Generation or “1G” Networks.

In the early 1990’s, Second Generation or “2G”Mobile Systems began replacing them and was founded on the technical standards of the Global System for Mobiles (GSM).

The “2G” networks were digital and the networks they migrated started to call themselves GSM. Now you remember why in the time of Pakistan there was so much emphasis on the word ‘GSM’ in the advertisements of mobile companies.

After that “2.5G” started accessing the internet from mobile phones through GPRS technology, internet speed was increased in “2.75G” networks and it was named Edge.

Even if you still notice, sometimes E is typed on your mobile internet due to lack of signals. There was a time when our lifeline was this E Internet, and today we do not give it any special significance.

With the arrival of “3G” technology, mobile Internet speed has been improved and security has also been improved. Its licenses were auctioned in Pakistan in 2014 and made it possible for Pakistani mobile users to access the Internet even in remote areas.

At the same time, a “4G” license was auctioned by Zong in Pakistan. 4G is technically quite different from 3G, and the result is to provide faster Internet to the users.

How will the world change with the arrival of “5G”?

By now, you must have figured out that the arrival of “5G” Networks will make it possible for you to access the Internet even faster. By doing so, will improve the following,

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  1. Being able to make high definition voice and video calls of the best quality.
  2. Watching online videos in high quality without buffering breaks.
  3. Don’t be lagging behind others because of the lazy internet while playing online games.

Fifth Generation will bring about three major changes, says Khalid Mukhtar, Senior Member of the International Organization of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

For one, it will speed up the internet speed, which will make it easier to edit and work videos online.

Secondly, latency, the time of data traveling from your Internet device to the destination, will be much shorter. This will allow surgeons to sit in remote areas to perform the same surgery as if they were there themselves. Sports can be played through Virtual Reality while many other tasks can be done in the same way.

In addition, he said that machine-to-machine connection will improve, which is expected to improvement in the field of Internet of Things (IOT).

Dr. Faizan Qamar, a telecom expert and “5G” technology researcher, says that this technology will improve the communication of the Internet of Things (IOT), which allows our vehicles to self-report their problems. Doctors will be able to diagnose patients better with the sensors they have.

Dr. Faizan Qamar is a researcher with the Malaysian University of Malaya and “5G” Communications is the subject of his research.

He said that with the arrival of “5G” it is expected that machines could be used in the fields of robotics, Internet of Things, transport, medicine and humans.

How can Pakistan get benefit from 5G?

Dr. Faizan says that, saying about “5G” that it is ready for use by consumers is not correct because there are still trials going on in the world.

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‘The most fundamental change for a typical consumer would be for them to have Internet speed faster than ever before.’

He said that with the arrival of any new technology it is seen that it is making a difference to the world, society and economics. “If we look at the overall effect, it will ultimately have a good impact on society, if not now, this generation will certainly benefit 10 years later or 20 years later.”

Kamran Shahid, technical marketing director at ZTE (a Chinese company that manufactures telecom equipment) Pakistan, says that the government will have to develop policies that will convince the business community to use “5G”.

Kamran says that this is why it will be used most in China, Japan and the United States and these three countries are launching the “5G” soon.

Talking about “5G” robotics, artificial intelligence and other uses, he said that this will not happen in Pakistan until the government comes up with policies that will allow textile, automobile, electronics companies to work for their benefits with the usage of “5G”.

“With “5G” you can monitor your water resources without any human intervention but it is not the job of a person or a mobile operator. For this purpose, the government should come forward.”

He said that “5G” can enable you to do much, but it is up to us that how we can get benefits from it.

What are the challenges in implementing 5G?

Kamran Shahid says that once the government auctions a license in Pakistan, it is not too difficult to enforce the network. “On technical grounds it can be easily implemented and if PTA allows it, it is practically possible to launch in Pakistan within a year.”

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But he says that “there are countries where the return on investment is high, they will take the risk of implementing this developing technology, but it will take time in Pakistan.”

He said that once the regulator (PTA) allocates the frequency, it could still have a commercial launch by the end of 2021 or by 2022 as launching a network takes several months.

It should be noted that the Government of Pakistan had also auctioned 3G and 4G licenses through which the government earned a revenue of several million dollars.

Kamran says there are costs for mobile operators that they have to work on. In addition, according to him, devices compatible with “5G” are not yet common in Pakistan, which will require many years to fully process them.

But do I need a new handset for that?

Since the frequency of signals in the “5G” networks will be different from the existing networks, the handsets to use them will also need to be different as the old handsets could not be used for “4G”.

Dr. Faizan says that mobile phone companies are developing sets compatible with their “5G”, but since the current sets of “4G” will not work on the “5G”, and most of the population in Pakistan still do not use smart phones. Therefore, the transition to the typical consumer’s “5G” will take many years.

In addition, he said research on smartphone’s batteries is underway to send and receive signals that use less battery because the high frequency of the “5G” consumes more energy. Read this 10 Things which kill your smart phone battery

There is a testing being done to send signals that have the least amount of winding so that the battery is low. Currently mobile batteries only last one to one and a half days, but research is ongoing to make them last longer.

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