Wikipedia says 5G is the 5th generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current smartphones.
Our future will see the growth of 5G small cells that are lower to the ground and will cover smaller areas. Thus rural America will see less of 5G and it will take longer to be able to leverage 5G benefits.
Wireless technology is the ability to communicate between two or more entities without the use of wires or cables. Encyclopedia indicates “wireless technology involves transmitting electromagnetic signals over the air. Interference and obstacles that block RF signals are common problems with wireless technology. Wireless technology allows users to communicate simultaneously over the same medium without their signals interfering with one another.”
With 5G wireless stations reaching >20 times more of the workload of the predecessors and beamforming for signals directed to the receiver; 5G will provide full duplex abilities to speak and listen with much greater efficiency allowing expansion and acceleration; provided volumes of 5G networks are available.
Additionally 5G will reduce latency, handle large digital transfers, and provide for security. As Ryan Spence indicates in the LinkedIn Learning module noted below, the value of 5G is not a new wireless technology, but as a ‘change agent’ for what it will enable in our futures.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) has taken actions to make additional wireless high, mid, and low spectrum and unlicensed bands available with the ‘5G FAST Plan.’ Included with this plans is the modernizing of regulations including one-touch make ready, IP transition, business data, and supply chain regulations. 5G product manufacturers are also building the hardware and security solutions for smartphones, Internet of Things, and home WiFi. And, unlike current WiFi systems, 5G WiFi can associate with unlimited devices.
5G in WNC
5G will likely have the greatest impact in the fabric of IoT, AR/VR, and AI. In Western North Carolina, industries including manufacturing (example – jet engines), retail (example – Amazon logistics), transportation (examples – Uber, Lyft, city/state municipalities), utilities (example – French Broad Electric Coop), and entertainment (example Asheville’s music scene) could be some of the forerunners of the future of 5G. A future of 3D models for real estate will be possible. Healthcare with tremendous amount of information exchanged is yet another evolution. Your home’s grocery stock will be efficiently stocked through IoT.
The WNC Broadband Leadership Team has had dialogue with Rosman North Carolina’s Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI); and they mentioned SpaceX Starlink’s light pollution. We take for granted the view of stars on a clear night, but with low earth orbit satellites, there are some brighter objects visible.
LEO – Low Earth Orbit
Wikipedia defines Starlink as a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers.
SpaceX ‘Satellite Train’ Recordings
Recorded in the UK
Recorded in Europe
Initially there will be three to four thousand satellites in orbit with plans to have approximately 30,000 in the future. Because each satellite will be limited to service a certain number of dishes, the more satellites in orbit, the more users can be served. The more satellites, the better the broadband experience; and, the fewer users the better. More users will put more demands on the limitations of the available satellites.
As funds are planned for improving high-speed internet or broadband, policy makers will want to ‘future-proof’ technology and service investments.
Putting a priority on network development with faster downloads & uploads speeds, but also lower levels of latency; the time it takes for data to be transferred between its source and its destination, measured in milliseconds. Network latency affects satellite internet, cable, and some WiFi connections.
This will ideally create forces toward more fiber technologies to “ensure that those benefiting from the networks will be able to use tomorrow’s internet applications as well as today’s.”
The FCC or Federal Communications Committee uses a weighted scale of internet performance tiers with the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding.
With COVID-19, the world of online communication has significantly changed in 2020. Communicating with technology has significantly increased with video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc..
As a further extension to video conferencing, live streaming video content is appropriate for when an individual or panel of speakers needs to broadcast information to many people during an event. Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube are some of the frequently used tools for live streaming.
Live Streaming Defined
Live streaming the internet process of holding a live event. Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, and other tools allow an individual or small group to present content through the use of a webcam and a microphone. Computer laptops and smartphones both have a built-in microphone and camera. Newer computers are needed for the RAM or Random-Access-Memory and CPU or Central Processing Unit demands. To live stream, broadband or high speed, dependable internet is also needed.
Additionally, a third party can support hosting a live streaming event with an EMCEE, online transitions, callouts, background music and more services. These services require even more broadband; including fast download, fast upload, and low-latency internet connections. Ideally, a FTTP or Fiber To The Premise broadband (home or business) is ideal.
WordCamp, a Global Event
On Saturday September 12th the local WordPress community held a live streaming event with the Word Camp community leadership. This event is traditionally held at a large venue location like AB Tech or UNCA; however, social distancing caused the leadership team to plan and implement an online solution for this 2-day event that typically sells-out with in excess of 300 attendees. Word Camp is a global event where throughout the year businesses, website developers, coders, and marketers get together at various global locations to promote WordPress website ideas, concepts, training, and more.
WordCamp Asheville or #WCAVL (# is a taxonomy symbol grouping like words or phrases for various social media channels). The 2020 theme was a county home setting with a Front, Back Porch, Kitchen and more. These virtual rooms were live stream rooms where attendees could hear a WordPress subject matter expert present various business and technical topics.
Diversity, Ethnicity, and Inclusion in Tech
In the Front Porch or ‘Track 1’ there was a discussion titled ‘Diversity in Tech’ Panel with Sarah Benoit, Aisha Adams (both from Western North Carolina), Aida Correa of Atlanta, Georgia, and Joe A. Simpson Jr. from Los Angeles, California. During this live stream event they discussed DEI or diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion in the technology world for the benefit of ages of children through older adults. Additionally, Aisha mentions how Asheville ‘still has areas without broadband access.’
About the Author of This Article
Marc Czarnecki or Web Tech Czar was an EMCEE for #WCAVL and is a community member of:
We have reported elsewhere on the challenges that satellite-based internet developers are facing as they seek to enter the the broadband market in a meaningful way (see “The New Outlook for Satellite-Based Internet,” January 28, 2020). In his article for Wired, “SpaceX is Banking on Satellite Internet. Maybe It Shouldn’t” (May 15 and 23, 2019), Daniel Oberhaus observes that the economics that prospective projects–such as Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, among others–will face are daunting at best, and possibly even prohibitive. In addition to competition from other satellite-based internet providers, Oberhaus notes, Musk’s Starlink will face a host of technological challenges stemming from low-earth broadband satellite constellations, stiff competition from more affordable land-based providers, and a potential rival in the global implementation of 5G networks within the next 5-10 years. To learn more about these and other challenges to satellite-based internet, visit Wired.
In a recent article, CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen and Arizona State University Professor Daniel Rothenberg explore how the pandemic is rapidly becoming a “hinge event,” very much like the Great Depression or 9/11, “reshaping the world, politically, socially and economically and … revealing major structural weaknesses in American society and undermining already fraying trust in the capacity of the US government to respond effectively to core security challenges.” Covid-19 will force us to rethink our concepts of national security and to reassess what is important to our families, our communities, and our nation. Among the changes that Bergen and Rothenberg see on the horizon are increased use of telemedicine; the expansion of remote work; the redefinition of higher education and growth on online instruction; and a profound need for affordable and equitably distributed high-speed broadband. To learn more, visit CNN: Opinion.