5G: the fifth generation of wireless networks
5G is expected to be faster, more reliable, and higher capacity than previous wireless networks. It’s not a completely new technology, but it is much more powerful and more integrated.
At the moment, in the United States at least, 5G has quite a bit of overlap with 4G, and most of us won’t notice a big difference even if we have 5G phones and networks. Most U.S. 5G is operating in frequencies below 2GHz — known as low-band 5G. Our phone calls are still 4G, so even 5G phones dip back into 4G to make calls.
High-band 5G, operating in the 20-100GHz range, is super fast at fairly close range, and currently has very little coverage in the U.S. When it comes to phones, most of us just don’t have access.
There have been some claims that 5G is spreading COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci says those claims are “garbage” — after all, viruses spread in living hosts. They don’t travel over radio waves. They would if they could, you can bet, but they can’t.
Conspiracy theory fans don’t care. Their response is that COVID-19 isn’t really a virus, but is a code name given to 5G-borne illnesses. Once the radio waves make everyone sick, people will accept vaccinations, which are not actually vaccinations. They are microchips which can hear your thoughts and share them with Bill Gates.
Back in the real world, there have been questions about exposure to radio waves. So far there is no clear evidence of danger, nor any evidence that 5G will create greater exposure. However, it is worth continued research.
5G in the factory
But a lot of the controversy about 5G only makes sense if you’re thinking of 5G primarily as something that cuts down on lag in your Fortnite games.
5G is more than that.
It’s expected to make huge strides for remote healthcare, precision agriculture, and safer transportation. It will fulfill the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things. Gunther May, Head of Technology and Innovation in Automation and Electrification at Bosch Rexroth, told Wired Magazine that “you want to have a constant, continuous connection” to manage a floor full of machinery.
Reliable communication is the key to Industry 4.0. Rexroth expects to ship 5G-enabled robots to customers next year. They’re recommending that manufacturers think about private 5G networks for their factories.
Meanwhile, if you need service or support for Rexroth electric drive and control systems, we can help. We’re Rexroth specialists, with decades of experience working with Rexroth systems old and new. Contact us to get back up and running fast.