5G is the Fifth Generation for Cellular Networks which is intended to replace 4G/LTE and capable of delivering 1000 times faster speeds than current 4thGeneration/LTE. This especially good news in South Africa where fibre is not ubiquitous with the majority of our population vastly spread and the only means of connecting to the worldwide web via Cellular capabilities. 5G will have the ability to deliver faster internet to large swathes of our population. The applications for 5G will bring about the ability for Online Learning, the Internet of Things as well as the ability for users to work remotely from almost anywhere at much faster speeds. As we all know, many in the world consider internet access a human right and with 5G it would open up the opportunities immensely to get Education to the masses of our people amongst many other benefits. Artificial intelligence, Augmented reality and using the cloud will change the face of how business is conducted in the near future. The COVID 19 pandemic has shown us that the remote workforce will now become a reality and as we at NETCONFIG have always preached working remotely anywhere, anytime from any device will be made much easier.
5G is the driver for what is Termed the 4th Industrial revolution (to be discussed in another blog) and the possibilities of having ubiquitous fast internet is going to be a game-changer not just for South Africa but as a continent as a whole. While all of this sounds cool, it is a few years away as there are a few hurdles to overcome. South Africa lags behind other countries in implementation as the required spectrum (Radio Frequency) has not been released by the Regulating authority ICASA. Networks such as Telkom, MTN, Vodacom & others would need to invest in upgrading equipment at their towers to support 5G which will require significant Capital expenditure. As well as most current devices (phones, tablets, routers) are not 5G ready. During the current Lockdown, ICASA allowed the release of temporary spectrum to Networks to enable users to work remotely and to ease the burden on Networks. Operators such as Vodacom and RAIN seized the moment and turned on 5G in areas in Gauteng and the Western Cape and expect to have other areas rolled out in due course. Simply put faster internet access to more people at a reasonable cost will see not only a different country but a more connected world.
If you are on the other end of the theory, there has been no empirical evidence that 5G indeed contributes to the spread of Covid-19 as 5G emits radiofrequency and COVID as we know is a biological virus however studies continue today to show the effects of 4G on humans. The race right now is to find a vaccine for COVID 19 and those collaborating across different countries would surely be using 5G and high-speed internet to get data and analysis as we as humankind pursue a cure. Regardless time will tell if there are any links in these uncertain times. Check out Wikipedia for more info on 5G.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G
Authour: Wayne Erradu