5G is here, your questions answered

March 12, 2020

What is 5G?
5G is the latest mobile technology following on from 2G, 3G and 4G. While 2G allowed voice calls and texts, 3G provided mobile internet access and 4G provided faster mobile internet allowing for the widespread use of apps and streaming of content.  

There is currently much discussion about what 5G is. It promises major advances in sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transport. It will accelerate the rollout of the Internet of Things - devices being able to communicate with each other - and increase the mainstream usage of augmented reality, virtual reality, drones and 3D holographic projections.  It is more energy efficient leading to reduced carbon emissions and makes activities that are highly time-sensitive possible.   
Key features
The key features of 5G are as follows:  

Faster broadband  

  • 5G is on average 10 times faster than 4G. It operates at faster data speeds in the range 1Gbps to 10Gbps whereas 4G operates in the range 300 Mbps to 1Gbps  

Connect lots of devices 

  • 5G allows a very large number of devices to connect to the internet simultaneously without negatively impacting on performance  

Real-time response  

  • 5G has much lower latency i.e. less time between clicking the device and seeing the response  

These features allow 5G to offer a broader range of potential uses.  

Health concerns  
As with all new technologies and services, people are concerned if there are any negative health implications. It is important to note that all telecoms operators providing 5G service must adhere to strict international safety guidelines under the terms of their licences from ComReg, the Communications regulator.  The telecoms companies are regularly audited by ComReg to ensure compliance. 
Business benefits  
5G is first and foremost a much better version of mobile broadband, but it has the potential to enable major changes in many aspects of business. While we can identify many uses for 5G, its true value will be as an innovation platform for new applications and new business models not yet imagined. The ‘killer’ applications have yet to be discovered. 5G is here, how your business maximizes its benefits is up to you.  

Frequently asked questions
Telecommunications Industry Ireland has compiled answers to frequently asked questions regarding 5G.  

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