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What is 5G - Questions and Answers

A large number of questions were sent in advance for Telia’s ‘5G is here’ webinar, but there was not time to answer all of them during the webinar. In this article, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions and Telia experts’ answers to them.

What is the difference between 5G and the previous technology?

The key features of 5G are high capacity, low latency, and the ability to connect a massive number of IoT sensors to the network. In addition, compared with the previous network generations, the 5G network makes it possible to implement tailored web services for different needs.

The capacity of the 5G network serves the exponentially accelerating growth of data. Low latency, in turn, is important in many different sectors. An example is AI applications, which must be able to react to different situations in real time, for example in industrial processes. Latency is also of high importance in the remote control of self-directed vehicles and other machines and equipment. 5G is therefore not only a network faster than the previous generations but a technology that makes it possible to put many digital innovations into practice.

What is the indoor coverage like in the 5G network compared with the 4G network?

The 3.5 gigahertz frequency that Telia has in use behaves in a very similar way to the frequencies used so far, and the 5G networks of 3.5 gigahertz are based on the same base stations as 4G networks. As the frequency increases, the throughput of material is reduced, but at the same time antenna technologies have developed, and the so-called multipath progression can be utilized in more diverse ways and more efficiently.

What is the schedule of 5G? When will 5G be available to consumers?

The 5G technology is at first utilized in industry, where numerous uses can be found for it. In other sectors, 5G networks are becoming more common as the benefits and applications of 5G in different sectors become more concrete.

At present, equipment manufacturers are expected to introduce their first 5G devices into the consumer market during 2019. The first devices will be routers, and tablets and mobile phones will not be available until at the end of the year at the earliest.

What is the global compatibility of 5G?

The strength of the international GSM ecosystem has always been agreeing on international standards and sticking to them. As an industry, we are striving to ensure that this will continue. Global compatibility is an absolute prerequisite for the exploitation of technology, and it is also a common interest for the industry as a whole. In this sense, the 5G network will be built in the same way as the previous network generations.

What is the weakness of 5G or what is it not suitable for?

As a rule, 5G has been designed for a much more versatile use than the previous GSM generations. It is challenging to identify uses for which 5G is not suitable.

What are the information security risks of 5G?

5G will further enhance the security of mobile networks. Any information security risks are primarily related to terminal device implementations and their users, like today. Many security threats spread, for example, through software and applications downloaded to terminal devices.

Are there health effects associated with the 5G technology?

Jukka Juutilainen,  Professor of the radiation research group of the University of Eastern Finland, says according to an article in Kauppalehti that RF radiation of mobile networks has not been shown to have any negative health effects. Tommi Toivonen, Head of Laboratory at STUK (the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority), points out that as regards radiation exposure, 5G has not changed the technology.

Has FICORA (the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority) set requirements for the coverage of 5G networks?

The licences do not include coverage obligations. The 5G network is built where there is a need for 5G applications.

How should ecosystems be built around 5G? How could one be among the first to develop 5G services?

Telia’s 5G Finland network is an ecosystem where companies and organizations together develop 5G uses. The network gives you the possibility to share knowledge and create innovations with players of different industries, and the members include companies, public sector organizations and startups. The members of the network will be among the first to take advantage of the opportunities offered by 5G and of related information. You can read more about the 5G Finland network here.

What does 5G technology mean for applications that utilize artificial intelligence, robots, self-directed vehicles or remotely controlled devices?

All of the above-mentioned applications are required to react to different situations in real time and without delay. For example, when two AI applications communicate with each other, it is necessary to have fast and latency-free data transfer. The AI application must also be able to react to different situations in real time. If artificial intelligence analyses video or other footage, it should be of high quality. This will require a high data transmission capacity.

Latency is also a significant factor in remote controlled devices. A device or machine must be able to react to remotely given commands in almost real time. The same applies to self-directed vehicles. In the event of a problem, for example, it must be possible to intervene in the driving in real time.

Self-directed vehicles will also collect a lot of data about their environment. 5G network capacity is required, when data is to be transferred to data centres for analysis.

How can 5G be utilized in the contracting and maintenance business?

In this industry, we will see especially IoT solutions where a large number of sensors are connected to the network to collect different data from their environment. NB-IoT is part of the 5G technology and makes it possible to cost-efficiently have a massive number of sensors that can also collect data from sites that are challenging as regards coverage, such as from underground.

For example, Polygon uses an IoT solution to make concrete moisture measurements. The sensor sends a notification when an on-site visit is necessary, which reduces unnecessary visits and saves worktime.

What opportunities does 5G offer to the tourism industry?

In the tourism industry, the potential of 5G is related especially to virtual and augmented reality solutions. In the future, thanks to ultra-fast connections, it will be possible to travel in the VR environment in real time anywhere in the world and to have a very similar view in front of the eyes as in the physical world, including sounds.

It will be possible, for example, to present a travel destination for potential travellers in a VR environment, which is a completely different experience compared with photos and brochures. For example, Telia and Nokia took children to a virtual visit to Santa Claus Village in the 5G network, and Santa Claus answered the children's questions in real time.

 

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