5G is a dramatic overhaul and harmonisation of the radio spectrum, as per experts, which means the opportunity for properly connected smart cities, remote surgery, driverless cars and the “internet of things”. Data is transmitted via radio waves. Radio waves are split up into bands – or ranges – of different frequencies.
Each band is reserved for a different type of communication – such as aeronautical and maritime navigation signals, television broadcasts and mobile data. The use of these frequency bands is regulated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Currently, the radio frequency spectrum is a bit of a mess. As new technologies have been developed, frequencies for them to use have been squeezed into its gaps.
This has caused problems with connection speeds and reliability. So, to pave the way for 5G the ITU is comprehensively restructuring the parts of the radio network used to transmit data, while allowing existing communications, including 4G, 3G and 2G to continue functioning.
5G will run faster, a lot faster. That’s until 6G comes along in around 2045.