5G Mobile Network
Valmedia @ stock.adobe.com
The fifth generation of cellular networking, typically known as the 5G mobile network, enables broadcasting in millimeter waves and higher frequency than 3G and 4G LTE networks. Since cellular technology transmits data over radio waves, the higher the frequency, the smaller the wavelength. It means that 5G millimeter-wave technology could offer higher data capacity and faster connections compared to LTE networks.
5G networks have improved response time, commonly referred to as latency. Latency is the time devices take to respond to each other within wireless networks. In 3G networks, for example, responses take up to 100 milliseconds, and 4G LTE around 30 milliseconds. 5G, however, is expected to be as low as one millisecond. The latency-free environment provided by 5G could allow better communication between self-driven vehicles, instant responsive connections everywhere, and faster internet when multiple users are connected.
On the other hand, because millimeter waves are absorbed by obstacles such as trees, they can not travel well through buildings and walls. In urban environments, it would require numerous nodes (also known as Mesh Networks) for the technology to work correctly. These nodes would take the shape of cellular towers working closer together, making the network more resilient against signal interferences.
Also, with more distributed cellular towers, it would be easier to track a device precisely. For instance, whenever a mobile device connects to a tower, the mobile networks know it is in the range of that specific tower. Hence, everyone who has access to tower logs would also know about every device connected to it at any given moment.
One reliable method of avoiding network vulnerabilities would be to incorporate cyber defense systems into the original design, instead of mounting the system on top of existing infrastructure, inheriting the same old security flaws. Additionally, millimeter waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation known to be absorbed by human skin and the cornea. Even though the only proven biological impact on humans today is heating tissue, the long-term impact of this technology on the human body and other living forms, such as animals, remains poorly researched. Therefore, for the 5G infrastructure to be deployed appropriately, its infrastructure and wavelength side effects still need to be tested to ensure natural organisms' safety.