The fifth generation of cell technologies (aka, "5G") is quickly gaining momentum as the number of 5G test markets across the country grows. But exactly what is
Frequencies used by 5G are much faster than earlier generations, and offer very low latency (any kind of delay in transmitting or processing). "For example, with 5G you could download a 4K movie to your phone in about 30 seconds," says John Penney, executive vice president of business development at 20th Century Fox.
But will 5G replace the cables, wires, router and modem in your home? According to some experts, the answer is: Potentially. But in most cases, it's not a good idea ... at least, not yet.
One of the main issues (for now) is that the distances those signals can travel are relatively short, which is problematic for cell companies. Eric Bodley of the firm Future Ready Solutions explains one possible scenario: "[Service providers] are looking at taking this down to a micro-localization level, essentially putting a little cellular hotspot in your house. But that makes me a little nervous."
Bodley says some developers claim there will no longer be a need for local area networks (LANs). Instead, everything would route through cellular.
"That could create issues if every home turns into its own little cell tower communicating with several other little towers in the surrounding neighborhood," Bodley said. "That proposition presents more concerns about security than a more traditional LAN."
Still, the appeal of 5G is growing because it offers significant upside, especially in areas of the country where there is currently poor (or no) internet service.
"In general, 5G has about twice the efficiency of alternative networks," Penney said. "So you can get twice as many channels for the same frequency swath. That's amazing, especially for folks who don’t have a quality broadband service."
Members looking for more information about advancements in residential technology can log onto nahb.org to access NAHB's BizTools
where they will find a section dedicated to Technology Solutions.
This guest post is from Ed Wenck, content director for CEDIA, the industry association representing those professionals who manufacture, design and integrate goods and services for the connected home.