Penn Wealth Publishing

2019.06.30 Penn Wealth Report Vol 7 Issue 03

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8 penn wealth Report volume 7 issue 03 30 Jun 2019 Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. Science & technology Investor Leaps in telecom technology are all about wavelength Remember the early days of the Internet—then known as the World Wide Web? We would stare in amazement at a bloated machine on our desk as hor- izontal line after line magically filled in to form a picture. What seems archaic now was a marvel back then. Now, imagine an equal leap in technology from our current state of telecommunications. at is 5G. To understand how this technology will change the way we live, let's consider how we got to this point. 1G refers to development of the technology that enabled the earliest cellphones. en came 2G, which allowed Blackberry devices to send text messages. 3G allowed our cellphones to become "smart," with the ability to access the Internet from the palm of our hands. 4G brought us higher speeds via LTE, a network which made commu- nications up to 10 times faster than 3G. Now, companies are build- ing the infrastructure for 5G, which will reduce the latency (the time interval between the stimulation and the response) by at least 20 times. Put another way, when you visit a website from your laptop or device, it will almost instan- taneously display. e most exciting aspect of this technol- ogy is that it will allow ordinary devices throughout our homes, our neighborhoods, and our cities—from coffee mak- ers to lighting systems to buildings themselves—to become "intelligent." It's all about wavelength. In the 1870s, Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves. In 1886, Heinrich Hertz applied Maxwell's theories to allow for the production and reception of radio waves. Fast forward another generation, to the 1920s, and the first AM radio stations began appearing on the scene. AM wavelengths are longer and have a lower frequency. If one were to tune into 980 on their AM dial, for example, the waves bringing in your favorite news would be roughly 1,000 feet long. AM waves have a frequency in the 500 kilohertz (KHz) to 1.7 megahertz (MHz) range. ese waves are so long, in fact, that they bounce off of the ionosphere and back to earth, allowing for a wider listening audience with fewer towers. FM technology followed up with a shorter wave- length (three meters long, for example) and higher frequency, meaning the waves were too short to bounce off of the ionosphere, but they pro- vided much better clarity. After hopping over the shortwave radio segment of the spectrum, we come to 4G cellphone technology, which operates on waves somewhere between six and eighteen inches in length. It is important to keep two things in mind as we move down the wavelength scale and up the frequency scale: bandwidth grows, mean- ing substantially more data can be carried to devices at a quicker pace (lower latency); and the infrastructure needed (more transmitters, for example) becomes much greater. e waves used for 5G NR (new radio) will not be measured in feet, meters, yards, or inches. is new technology will utilize ultra-tiny waves measured in millimeters, which is why 5G is also known as "milli- meter wave technology." e frequency will not be measured in hertz, kilohertz, or even megahertz, but in gigahertz (GHz). at frequency is so high that it Technically speaking, the move to 5G is evolutionary, but it will create massive ripples in the way we live and work. e 5G Revolution Telecommunication Services

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