The future of 5G Wireless Technology: Speed & Security

It's being called the 5th generation of wireless technology and many consumers have good reason to be excited about the 5G revolution.

5G technology will allow devices to download information a lot faster than the current 4G and LTE networks. Smartphones aside, there's a buzz about its integration with other technologies.

University of Houston electrical and computer engineering professor Dr. Stuart Long said, "Almost anything that you have that needs a sort of rapid response of being able to transfer data, such as an autonomous car or something of that sort, is going to benefit from this kind of technology."

There's also discussions about improving communications with electronics, like cutting-edge security cameras, drones; even gamers will be able to take advantage of console quality multi-player gaming on the go.

If you're a movie buff, imagine streaming in 4K seamlessly.

This technology will require a whole new infrastructure.

Northwestern University professor of information system programs Faisal Akkawi said, "4G is measured in miles, you can be up to 10 miles away from the cell tower and you'll still be able to communicate. 5G only gives you about a thousand feet at max, which means you need to see a cell tower on a street on every other light post."

Lightning fast speeds, and downloads that used to take minutes will take seconds.

Some providers are even promising augmented reality responses near real-time. Now while all that sounds great, there are some out there who have concerns about security. The issues stem around who's building the technology and the potential information they can acquire.

Some security experts are concerned if we allow a foreign country to come in and build a communication infrastructure, it could become a national security issue down the road.

Maurice Dawson with the Institute for Cyber Security & Education in Illinois says that data is the new currency. He added, "If someone controls the technology, they're building it, they could do hardware exploits, they have built in vulnerabilities in the hardware."

While there have been claims that a back door does not exist, that doesn't mean that one could be created in the future. As of now, there are four major companies producing the infrastructure of 5G, none of which are American.

Here are statements we received about 5G from wireless providers:

VERIZON

We will launch in 2019, the exact timing will come at a later time.

Customers will need a 5G-enabled smartphone. In early April, we turned on our 5G Ultra Wideband network in certain areas of Chicago and Minneapolis accessible with the 5G moto mod. Starting April 25th, customers were able to preorder Samsung's first 5G smartphone in the U.S. - the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - offered exclusively on Verizon for a limited time.

We will also offer additional 5G smartphones and devices this year, including the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and the Inseego 5G mobile hotspot.

Verizon takes very seriously the health and safety of our employees and customers, and of all residents in the communities we serve.

All Verizon facilities, including the small cells that Verizon is deploying to provide 5G service, are required to comply with the FCC safety standards.

Our industry association, CTIA, has provided information about this topic:

  • Experts agree that wireless devices have not been shown to pose a public health risk
  • Cell phone towers operate within safety limits
  • FCC regulations protect health and safety
  • New 5G networks emit less RF energy


Network security and customer privacy are very important to us and always have been. We have very sophisticated measures in place to maintain that security and privacy, and we will maintain the same level of security and privacy on our 5G network as our customers have come to expect from us on our 4G network. We don't comment on our security practices for obvious reasons.

5G is a transformational change from 4G. 5G will provide faster data speeds and carry a massive amount of data for a large number of simultaneous users. So users in high density areas - like airports, stadiums or urban areas - can still experience the fast speeds and low latency of 5G service. Latency could eventually be less than 10 milliseconds. Many times faster than the blink of an eye.

With 5G, customers can enjoy real-time experiences with lower latency, higher capacity and higher throughput.

Experiences like:
  • Instant View: Stream 4K movies with virtually no buffering
  • True Chat: Video chat in HD with near zero lag
  • Responsive Gaming: Console quality multi-player gaming you can play on the go
  • Flash Loading: Downloads that used to take minutes now take seconds
  • Real Response: Augmented reality that responds in near real-time


AT&T


T-Mobile

T-Mobile will launch 5G when compatible smartphones are available and ready for our customers. We plan to have 5G nationwide in 2020. And if regulators approve the merger with Sprint, the New T-Mobile will deliver a supercharged 5G network with nationwide average speeds 15x faster than today!

We haven't announced a timeline for Houston, but the city - and entire Gulf region - is hugely important to us as we build out 5G.

Customers will need a 5G compatible smartphone, and we won't launch 5G until there are devices ready to use it.

Customers can use 5G with the same confidence they use 4G services.

Our CEO and CTO have blogged extensively on this at www.t-mobile.com/news.
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