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Misconceptions on 5G technologies debunked

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 00:30 | By
James Irungu. PHOTO/Courtesy

You recently launched your first 5G mobile phone in the Kenyan market. Do you think the country is ready for the 5G technology?

Yes, Kenya is ready for the 5G technologies. We have seen operations to test 5G capability lately. For instance, Safaricom recently confirmed that it is planning to launch a commercial 5G network in 2022 and2023. Apart from that, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CK) has set the ball rolling by developing a roadmap that outlines strategies to facilitate the deployment of the technology, enabling the country to derive maximum benefits from this new frontier. The CK subjected the 5G roadmap to public consultation in October 2021, during which it received invaluable input from various stakeholders. Once stakeholders’ input is adopted, they shall embark on the implementation of various activities in the roadmap such as the establishment of a national 5G forum, allocation of pilot frequencies, authorisation of first 5G pilot projects, release of requisite frequency bands and subsequent issuance of 5G commercial licenses.

What are the benefits of 5G and why should we embrace it?

The main benefits of the 5G technology are; the network has increased bandwidth compared to 4G, has greater speed in the transmissions, a lower latency and therefore greater capacity of remote execution. It also has a greater number of connected devices and the possibility of implementing virtual networks (network slicing), providing more adjusted connectivity to concrete needs. This provides faster internet speeds that help in faster downloading and communication. 5G technology will revolutionise how different industries operate. These network improvements will have far-reaching impacts on how people live, work, and play all over the world.

Which industries will benefit most from the 5G network?

Although it is still in the early stages, this fifth-generation technology, will effectively fuel innovation and increase performance across a number of industries simultaneously when utilised well. This will range from healthcare, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, agriculture and the retail industry. As it is observed, the telecommunications industry looks to benefit more, but all the industries at large shall reap big because this is an upcoming revolution, which promises to bring advantages in every aspect of human lives.

What are the disadvantages of 5G?

The main disadvantage of 5G is that it has limited global coverage and is available only in specific locations. Only cities can benefit a lot from 5G network, while the remote areas may not get the coverage for some years. Moreover, the expenses for setting tower stations are high when compared to other networks. Currently, as you can see in Kenya, 5G is very limited until proper infrastructure is put in place.

Hailed as the next digital revolution, how will 5G technology re-shape businesses?

This technology will transform business by offering a leap to universal high-rate connectivity and a seamless customer experience from the contemporary mobile networks. Promising to deliver peak data speeds, reliable communication, and vast network capabilities, 5G will create a more uniform user experience as compared to the current situation.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories about 5G technology and health. Is it true the technology can cause cancer?

It’s unfortunate that there has been contradictory information about 5G and that many people worry about the dangers. However, there is little evidence to suggest there is such a problem so far. According to different findings, there is inconsistent evidence to suggest that very heavy users of mobile phones may have a slightly increased risk of cancer.

What are the other myths and misconceptions about 5G network?

Apart from the myth that 5G has the ability to cause cancer, it has also widely been linked to Coronavirus, and that the virus can be transmitted via 5G radio waves. However, there is no proven link between the latter and Covid-19. The other misconception is that 5G will only benefit the technology industry. To the contrary, 5G has the power to revolutionise nearly every industry and has massive potential to completely redefine the way we live. As data becomes increasingly important around the world, 5G has the ability to adequately handle the enormous scale.

With 5G using higher frequencies than existing mobile phone technologies, does this mean that they are more dangerous?

5G uses a higher frequency in order to increase the capacity of the mobile networks and support high data rates. When it comes to health according to different findings, there is inconsistent evidence to suggest that heavy users of mobile phones may have a slightly increased risk of cancer.

Now that you have introduced new phones with 5G connectivity, does this mean that you will stop producing phones with 4G connectivity?

Not at all. The V23 5G phone was launched based on the local conditions of the 5G market and preparations of the 5G in Kenya. As we elevate, Vivo will consistently offer latest products possible to meet different market needs and preferences.

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