What is 5G? It could change our lives in many ways


Five-G literally means the 5th generation of wireless communication, starting with those big old analog cell phones that were so big and heavy to lug around.

Right now, we are mostly using fourth-generation broadband, but 5G promises to be clearer, and much faster.

The technology that gives us smartphones, smart speakers, and smart homes is based on 4G broadband technology, but it is evolving.

Fifth-generation wireless is known as ultra-broadband that transmits a directional signal that uses less power, and packs in more.

Filippo Malandra is an Assistant Professor of Research for Electrical Engineering at UB.

He told us 5G transmissions are over a shorter distance and narrowly focused, which is more advantageous in cities than in rural areas.

“You need to cover a smaller area, a smaller geographic area, imagine a city. So that geographic area is smaller with respect to a large rural area,” Malandra said.

Professor Malandra told us, even if a 5G network is up and running, it needs the infrastructure to deliver the speed and clarity it is promising.

Because 5G delivers so much information so quickly, you will likely need an unlimited data plan.

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