The connection technology called 5G has been gaining steam rapidly in the last year, as many places throughout the US look to utilise its unique potential. Rife with confusion and misunderstandings, the technology is not as widely applicable right now for public use, but in the professional world, 5G could be a real game-changer. This is especially the case in farming applications, where businesses like John Deere are leveraging the technology for significant financial benefits.
The term 5G refers to what is essentially the fifth generation of mobile connectivity technology. A somewhat arbitrary title, 5G technology utilises a change in backing systems to allow for much-improved data transmission in certain applications. The improvements here are best represented by an increase in bandwidth, a lowering of latency, and the allowance of more simultaneous connections from a single cell tower.
There are two primary areas where 5G can fall short, range and current usefulness. In terms of range, these issues come from how the shorter wavelengths of 5G don’t travel as far or penetrate as well as their 4G counterparts. At best, 5G signals have a radius from the tower of just over one mile. 4G, by comparison, could travel around 10 miles, and more easily travel through obstructions like walls and trees.
Limitations in usefulness apply to how most users won’t have any real need for the greater bandwidth and latency that 5G supplies. Consider video streaming as an example. On the higher end of streaming, such as 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second, upwards of 35 Mbps would be necessary. While these requirements are above what 4G can reliably offer, practically nobody is going to use a mobile phone to watch such high-resolution videos, so the point is moot.
While most people will use their mobile phones for entertainment options, like listening to music and gaming, 5G still isn’t really necessary. Take gaming, for example, say a mobile user is searching for a casino game or a no deposit bonus code. None of the interactions with this site, from collecting bonuses to browsing options, and even playing the most demanding games require anything close to what 5G offers. In many cases, games on websites like these require so little data that they’d even play fine on older 3G connections.
In fact, the only reasonable way that most users might be able to get their worth out of 5G is through cutting-edge video game streaming systems like Google’s Stadia. Requiring latency lower than what 4G can provide, this niche system is often the only instance where users move from 4G to 5G for an appreciable upgrade. Collectively, these components might make it seem that 5G is unnecessary, but in some aspects of business, the promise of 5G begins to shine.
The most indicative illustration of 5G’s potential within Iowa comes from our reliance on a manufacturing and farming economy. Both of these industries are increasingly reliant on cutting-edge technology to meet growing demand, and this technology in its current incarnations sees profound benefits from 5G integration.
Farming equipment manufacturing specialist John Deere demonstrated this concept in November of 2020 when they won an auction from the Federal Communication Commission to implement 5G systems into their production lines. When completed, the new 5G technology will allow for much more rapid and accurate data updates to John Deere’s workers. Given recent downturns in John Deere employment opportunities, the advantages of 5G might allow for a reexpansion to former employment levels.
In more general farming, similar advantages apply to data-heavy system automation. Modern farming equipment utilises a wide range of information tracking and computing tools, some of which can struggle with 4G speeds. A wider application of 5G would cut down on these limitations, again allowing more convenient and efficient results in overall output. There is of course a limit here in that this tech will require the installation of additional cell towers, but the general consensus is that the upgrades to infrastructure will soon pay for themselves.
As it currently stands, Iowa is one of the states that is best poised to see immediate advantages from 5G systems. Broadly useful in our manufacturing and farming sectors, it’s unlikely that the average user will see real uses for 5G anytime soon. However, this doesn’t necessarily make 5G a waste of time in the public sphere. For the first time in mobile history, 5G has allowed us to reach beyond what we need now, and prepare us for what we might need in the coming years. It’s a future-proofing technology in many ways, and when it does become necessary, Iowa’s rollout should be enough that we’re ready for it.