What is 5G?

5G is the 5th generation of mobile networks, a significant evolution of today’s 4G networks.

5G is designed to meet the very large growth in data and connectivity of today’s modern society, the internet of things with billions of connected devices, and tomorrow’s innovations. 5G will initially operate in conjunction with existing 4G networks before evolving to fully standalone networks. The rollout of 5G will help meet Australians’ growing demand for more data, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reporting that the volume of data downloaded on mobiles has increased by 41% from June 2017 to June 2018, and this is set to continue.

What will 5G enable?

5G will enable enhanced mobile broadband, instantaneous connectivity to billions of devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and a truly connected world. For communities, 5G will enable real-time connection of billions of devices to provide a safer and more efficient place to live.

For businesses and industry, 5G and IoT will provide a wealth of data allowing them to gain insights into their operations like never before. Business will increasingly operate and make key decisions driven by data (e.g. parcel tracking), and innovate in different application areas including agriculture, smart farms and manufacturing. All of these will pave the way for cost savings, better customer experience and long-term growth.

What will be the first applications for 5G?
5G-enabled products such as wireless broadband, mobile devices and IoT will be the first applications using 5G.

What will 5G devices offer?
The prime benefits of 5G devices will be significantly faster speeds in data access, downloading and streaming content. In addition, 5G devices will have increased computing power and make use of faster connectivity, meaning that the devices will enjoy virtually instantaneous connections to the network,
as well as greater connectivity when on the move. 5G will enable applications such as remote monitoring, automation of production, medical monitoring and even remote surgery

How does 5G work?
5G will deliver faster speeds, better response times and greater capacity. 5G networks are designed to work in conjunction with 4G networks using a range of macro cells, small cells and dedicated in-building systems.

Small cells will be a feature of 5G networks and will evolve to include the use of millimetre wave (mmWave) frequencies. Small cells are mini base stations designed for very localised coverage typically from 10 metres to a few hundred metres providing in-fill for the larger macro network. Small cells will be essential for the 5G networks.

For more information have a look at our Fact Sheets What is 5G? and Small cells: a guide.

Other useful links and information

A Guide to small cells (Australian Communications and Media Authority)
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
EMF Explained (AMTA, GSMA, MWF)
The Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code (Communications Alliance)