5G Explained

Published on
November 2, 2020

As Bermuda looks to improve its electronic communications infrastructure, 5G technology could potentially be in the cards. What is it and what makes it different from what we are using today?

Generations vs. GigaHertz

5G stands for 5th Generation technology and is the latest technological development of wireless communication that helps keeps the world connected. 5G should not be confused with 5 GigaHertz (5,000 Hertz), which is a measurement used for the frequency of electromagnetic waves and computer processing speeds.

What Makes 5G Different from Previous Wireless Technologies Like 3G and 4G?

5G follows previous generations of mobile technology such as 3G, which led to the launch of smartphones. 5G is also preceded by 4G technology, which enabled faster browsing and allowed users to do things like watch videos while being mobile.

According to an article published by Ofcom, the regulator of the UK’s electronic communications sector, 5G is designed to be faster and provides greater capacity than older generations of wireless technologies.  Latency, which is a delay before the transfer of data begins, is significantly reduced with 5G. This results in shorter times between instructing a wireless device to perform an action and that action being completed.

Additionally, as cited from Ofcom, thousands of 5G devices can be connected at the same time in one small area. These multiple connections were more difficult with 3G and 4G, as the devices trying to connect at the same time could have significantly slowed or crashed the network(s) it was travelling on.

Ofcom also states that 5G improves connectivity, which creates the potential for more innovative services that can improve consumer experiences. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, virtual learning platforms, tele-medicine and interconnected networks such as transportation, energy and retail. Real-time data is available with 5G, allowing businesses and communities to become more efficient with their delivery of services to consumers.