What is 5G?
According to telecom service provider Du, the ‘fifth generation’ (5G) or International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020) is the next generation of cellular network technology for mobile and fixed wireless applications. 5G is the evolution of 4G. It has an ability to manage huge capacities and to provide a faster, more reliable experience. As per technology company Cisco, 5G technology has a theoretical peak speed of 20 Gigabits per second (GBPS), while the peak speed of 4G is only 1GBPS.
What can 5G do?
As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the fifth generation of mobile technologies is expected to connect people, things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in smart networked communication environments. It should be able to transport a huge amount of data much faster, reliably connect an extremely large number of devices and process very high volumes of data with a minimal delay.
When deployed, 5G networks should be able to deliver more speed and capacity to support massive machine-to-machine communications and provide low-latency (delay) and a high-reliability service for time-critical applications. Based on trials, 5G networks are starting to demonstrate high performance in different scenarios such as dense urban areas and indoor hotspots.
In early 2012, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiated the development of ‘IMT for 2020 and beyond’, setting the stage for 5G research activities and establishing the requirements and vision for 5G. Under ITU’s IMT-2020 programme, ITU membership is developing the international standards to carry on the effects of 5G networks. A number of countries have started 5G trials and the results are under assessment.
In the UAE, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) set a roadmap 2016-2020 to achieve 5G deployments at the earliest. A Steering Committee has been established, under which three sub-committees are working to facilitate the process along with all stakeholders.
The UAE’s rank in Global Connectivity Index
In 2019, the UAE achieved the first place amongst the Arab countries and the fourth position globally in launching and deploying 5G networks. This is according to the global connectivity index ‘The Connectivity Index’ issued by Carphone Warehouse, which is specialised in technology comparisons.
This index assesses further the countries that are connected best to the rest of the world, in terms of the number of immigrants the country receives and the strength of its passport, having access to the highest number of destinations without needing to arrange a visa prior to travel.