The steady improvements in mobile communication technology have been groundbreaking. The purpose of this essay is to briefly shed light on the possibilities of fifth-generation technology and potential barriers. Using a conceptual approach, this essay explains 5G technology, its opportunities, and some of the challenges it brings. Data collected from various articles, news sources, research papers, and journals revealed that the impressive speed and low latency of the technology are its main strengths. The main challenges were its deployment (cost, rate, extent) and the security of the network. It was also found that the opportunities are being tapped differently by various countries with each country also facing its unique challenges. 


5G Technology is the latest improvement in mobile communications technology. It is a software-based network (operating on the cloud) that exceeds the capacity of 4G. 

However, its main advantage is the high bandwidth speed of 1-10 Gigabits per second. It achieves this by the use of Millimetric waves. Millimeter-wave technology involves the use of a higher (radio)frequency on the spectrum. 5G also combines frequencies (low and medium) used in older mobile technologies with higher radio wave frequencies ranging from 600MHz-800MHz(low band), 3.45GHz-4.2GHz(middle band), 24GHz-39Hz(high band). Higher frequencies result in faster internet speeds but can only transmit over short distances. The installation of cellular access nodes called “small cells” or “femtocells” at certain distances alleviates this issue. These small cells transmit the radio waves and enable the 5G signal to retain its intensity. They also help reduce attenuation by buildings, trees, and atmospheric conditions. Another feature of 5G Technology is its extremely low latency. Latency refers to network response time. 4G has a response time of 45 milliseconds while 5G takes only 1 millisecond. Lastly, this new technology surpasses its predecessor in connection density. While 4G accommodates about 2000 connected devices, 5G is estimated to support up to 1 million devices per square kilometer. The aforementioned are nothing short of groundbreaking and they make the world of our dreams much closer to realization than imagined. 


   The possible benefits of 5G are numerous. Its capability of being simulated with the IoT(Internet of Things) is thrilling. IoT involves chips or sensors being integrated into the equipment, whether home, commercial or industrial. 5G’s incredible speed and insignificant latency give the foundation of intelligent communication between things. Smart Homes, Cities, and Factories, Autonomous driving and flying could all come to life. Surgeries could be performed remotely through telemedicine and other critical needs. Its high speeds could revolutionize Augmented and Virtual realities, therefore, making multimedia better as a whole. However, these lofty benefits depend on the predisposition of countries and industries. ; there are now autonomous driving commercial buses called “Robobus” following their promptness in the deployment of 5G Networks and with Huawei Technologies as the top-filer of standard-essential 5G patents. These autonomous-driven vehicles can communicate with each other to find better routes and avoid collisions or accidents, thereby improving safety and efficiency. The city of San Francisco also shows readiness to assume the name “Smart City”. For example, with IoT integrated into street lights or noise detectors, the government would be capable of saving huge sums through power conservation and ensuring the safety of lives. In developing countries like Nigeria, 5G could be the spark that ignites the industrial revolution it seeks. It is a trustworthy network and, it could lead to the birth of a myriad of businesses.  

   Also, as opportunities abound, so do challenges. The foremost of which is the cost of infrastructure. 5G operates on a spectrum that is not as widely used as that of its predecessor. 5G operates on the same frequency spectrum as that of radar and satellites that it requires are costly to procure and maintain. This new infrastructure, especially in the case of small cells which have to be fixed at designated points, comes at a high cost. Although governments and companies have decided to merge 4G infrastructure with 5G to cut costs, it remains expensive to dole out. In Nigeria, spectrum licensing fees and Right of Way charges are issues for telecommunications operators. Right-of-way charges are levies paid to the government by telecommunications operators that permit them to dig the surface and install fibre cables for communications. The government is being encouraged to subsidize or waiver the Right of Way charges to enable the speed rollout of 5G Technology.  

  In addition, with 5G being a software-based system, it reaches many traffic points, of which verification and monitoring of all may be difficult. This fact proves a danger to information especially in the area of IoT where various devices will be interlinked. Another challenge is the ever-growing digital divide. Due to the varying rates at which countries are installing 5G, it is no news that many countries may lag years behind. However, the issue is that of rural populations. Rural populations tend to live sparsely compared to urban ones. This trend would make the infrastructure, maintenance, and operation costs higher. There may even be a total disregard for rural dwellers because there is little information on such dwellers.  


5G Technology is here to stay and, although its worldwide deployment may take longer than expected, the game-changing opportunities it brings are worth the wait. Globally, steps are being taken to curb the hindrances that have arisen to the successful implementation of 5g technology. These can serve as a template for other developing countries like Nigeria as the lofty benefits might outweigh the costs


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