5G: Everything You Need to Know About this Next-Generation Network

Let us “launch” you into the wonderful world of 5G connectivity
After nearly a decade of research and development, 5G technology has recently begun to be deployed, and at Highroad, we couldn’t be more thrilled. As “launchers” of next-generation urban tech innovations, we welcome any technology poised to enable everything-to-everything communications, the foundation of smart city success. And, in case you have more questions about 5G than answers, we’re more than happy to set you straight, and get you excited about faster, seamless and smarter connectivity.

Everything you need to know about 5G, right here. 

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular network technology. According to tech giant Cisco, “while earlier generations of cellular technology (such as 4G LTE) focused on ensuring connectivity, 5G takes connectivity to the next level by delivering connected experiences from the cloud to clients. 5G networks are virtualized and software-driven, and they exploit cloud technologies.”

Practically speaking, 5G operates on three different spectrum bands – low, mid and high-band spectrum, to enhance connectivity, without the use of any wires, whatsoever. To do so, smart cities will need to set up a much higher number of small cells, or short-range transmitters, than current 4G LTE technology requires.

Pros and cons of 5G technology

Pro: 5G is expected to speed up connectivity, significantly. When compared to current 4G LTE speeds, which max out at an average of 19.42 Mbps, 5G will offer gigabit speeds. For example, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50, supports speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second – connectivity that’s over 257 times faster than the average speed of the fastest LTE network in the US.  among other benefits, this will enable more efficient urban operations, by allowing for better remote tracking of city infrastructure, and alerting of incidents, in real-time.

Pro: 5G is also poised to enable mobile networks to support an increased number of simultaneous data connections that 4G LTE, helping to prevent data overload and sluggish connectivity. Extremely low latency users of mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, wearables and other data-driven tech will love.

Pro/Con: As LTE capacity seems to be running low in most urban areas, 5G is expected to improve broadband, by adding huge amounts of spectrum in bands that have yet to be used for commercial traffic. This, however, does not fully resolve the bandwidth issue, as the smaller cells must be more concentrated in order to ensure effective reach and continuous connectivity. I.e. less overall coverage.

Con: The addition of more cells that is required to maintain 5G connectivity will potentially overcrowd the already heavily-loaded spectrum. This, in turn, can possibly lead to many known and unforseen communication problems associated with transmitting data signals at this particular radio frequency.

Con: All great things come at a cost, and 5G is no exception. Data costs have traditionally surged in the wake of new technological releases, and the same is to be expected for devices using 5G to connect. That being said, if current trends are any indication of what’s to come, an initial price spike should peter out following a transitory phase.

Con: While 5G solves many of the problems when it comes to down-link (the download speed), it still lacks solutions for up-link needs, such as transmitting many cameras on a single cell oir sending big amounts of data from the edge.

Telicomm – Taking mobile network to the next level

Highroad Launchpad portfolio company Telicomm seeks to resolve the connectivity bottleneck caused by the proliferation of video cameras in urban areas by developing a wireless connectivity solution for mass video cameras in the smart city, enterprise, and home markets. The company’s solution enables wireless connectivity based on cellular or WiFi infrastructures via a x10 channel capacity enhancement compared to current wireless solutions. 

ACiiST – Infrastructure for everything

Another Launchpad company, ACiiST, has developed a system that enables spreading wired, highly-reliable and highly-secure communication infrastructure in a fraction of the complexity and cost. Using ACiiST’s MertopoLAN technology, a city can future-proof itself in terms of the ability to add any kind of end-device, such as sensors, cameras and even EV charging stations, whenever they want it, wherever they want it.

For more information, and to enquire about joining Highroad Launchpad’s upcoming cohort, click here




5GACiiSTCommunicationSmart CitySmart MobilityTelicomm