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OnePlus 5G Open Course Part 1: What is 5G?

  1. Dale F. Copywriter Staff Member Feb 24, 2019

    Dale F., Feb 24, 2019 :
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    Hi friends,

    Every once in a while, something huge happens in the world of technology that completely changes the way we live, work, and communicate. The 19th century brought us the telephone, the 20th century saw the introduction of smartphones and the internet, and 2019 is set to be the year when a brand new wireless technology lets these three things evolve into something even more revolutionary. We're talking, of course, about 5G. Thanks to its pending arrival, our lives are about to change forever.

    But what exactly is 5G? And what makes it so great? To find the answers to these questions, join us on the first of our 5G Open Courses as we take a look at the long road that paved the way for this exciting new mobile technology.

    1G: Answering the call

    The first commercial mobile networks were launched in the 1980s. Back then, the main player was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, whose star feature was…being able to make and receive phone calls - and that’s about it. Mainly owned by wealthy businesspeople or celebrities, mobile phones were a huge status symbol in those days. And even though their functionality was practically prehistoric compared with the phones of today, the fact that calls could be made on the go signaled a shift in the way the world communicated.

    motorola_dynatac.jpg
    The Motorola Dynatec weighed around 800 grams and cost roughly the equivalent of $10,000 in today’s currency. Image credit: TIME

    2G: The mobile web arrives

    Mobile web browsing arrived shortly after the creation of digital 2G networks in the 1990s. Phones such as the Nokia 3330 let users access things like text-based sports scores and weather updates on the go, at speeds of around 14 kbit/s on tiny, monochrome displays. After the introduction of GPRS, and then later EDGE (both sometimes called 2.5G and 2.75G) networks, users in most markets could get online at relatively fast speeds of up to 236 kbit/s, although the mobile web was still a very stripped-down version of the regular internet. These networks also introduced MMS, which allowed users to send and receive photo, video, and audio messages.
    nokia_3330.jpg
    Early web-enabled phones offered very basic internet capabilities. We've certainly come a long way since then. Image credit: Wikimedia commons

    3G: Speeds get serious

    The first commercial 3G networks and devices appeared in the early 2000s, giving users internet speeds of around 384 kbit/s. Early 3G phones (such as the NEC e808, which looks a lot like the Star Trek Communicator) took features like video calls out of science fiction and into the palms of users’ hands. A few years later, HSPA (3.5G) and then HSPA+ (3.75G) technology pushed those speeds even further. Matched with the power and versatility of smartphones, we could finally do things on the road that were only previously possible on computers, such as stream HD videos and browse the full web as it was meant to be seen.
    nec_e808.jpg
    The 3G era brought us video calling and fast web browsing, like something from a sci-fi movie. Image credit: Wikimedia commons

    4G: Life in the fast lane

    Following the introduction of 4G networks around 2010, downloads speeds increased even further, letting us do things like seamlessly stream 4K videos and play online games on mobile devices with little to no lag. One of the most interesting uses of 4G, however, is that it allows people living in remote areas without a reliable internet infrastructure to finally be able to get online at fast speeds. The speed of 4G finally blurred the lines between traditional and mobile data connections.

    ee_4g_rural.jpg
    The fast speeds of 4G allow it to be used in place of traditional home internet connections in rural areas. Image credit: EE

    5G: Everything changes

    If you think 4G is fast, you haven't seen anything yet. The theoretical speed of 5G in the future will go all the way up to a crazy 20 Gbps, which is a whole lot quicker than even the best of wired internet connections. With that kind of speed, there’s no end to the kinds of things that 5G will make possible. We’ll be able to download 4K movies in the time it takes to tie a shoelace, or explore virtual reality with people from all around the world in real time. What’s more, dreams of cities filled with smart buildings and autonomous cars can finally become a reality. Just think of the movies I, Robot and Ready Player One. That kind of technology is closer than ever - all thanks to the super-high speed and super-low delay of 5G. Once 5G becomes widespread, it will cover entire countries, connecting us all without the need for WiFi or wired connections.

    self_driving_car_5G.jpg
    5G networks are necessary for the success of self-driving cars and smart cities. Image credit: Ericsson

    We hope you enjoyed the first part of our 5G Open Course series. Want to show us what you've learned? We've prepared a quick quiz for you. Any member who completes every 5G Open Course quiz will be awarded with an exclusive OnePlus 5G Scholar badge. What's more, if you're skilled enough to score 100% on every quiz in the series, you'll receive an awesome OnePlus 5G Scholar E-Certificate! Click here to take part.

    In the meantime, we want to know what you, our community members, are looking forward to the most about 5G. Let us know below as we begin this exciting journey together.

    Never Settle

    To see this course in French, follow this link.
     

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  2. Dale F. Copywriter Staff Member Feb 25, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dale F., Feb 25, 2019 :
    Although the theoretical maximum speed of EDGE is almost the same as 3G speeds, this requires updates to 2.75G network hardware, which most carriers skipped as 3G was either already released or just around the corner. This is why the majority of networks' max EDGE speeds are 236 kbit/s (despite what Wikipedia says... haha). I updated the quiz description, asking for participants to answer based on the information in the forum post. Sorry for any confusion :'(
     

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  3. Dale F. Copywriter Staff Member Feb 25, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dale F., Feb 25, 2019 :
    Clue: All the answers are in the post :cool:
     

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  4. the_o2 Lollipop Feb 24, 2019

    the_o2, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Thanks for such a lovely explanation, I had done my thesis on device to device communication in 5G network, read most of the thesis paper, and it's really hard to explain to a non technical background person what actually a 5G is,
    You post is sweet and simple :):)

    Done waiting for part two now :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019

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  5. Moin2200 KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    Moin2200, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Thanks for the explanation Dale!

    I never understood why 5G is such a big deal, but your simple post makes it easier to understand.

    I’m curious to see how this will work in a real life scenario.
    Keep up the coverage. ;)
     

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  6. Ranjithsmart Jelly Bean Feb 24, 2019


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  7. Kamaraj Manoharan Cupcake Feb 24, 2019

    Kamaraj Manoharan, Feb 24, 2019 :
    as same as a design language of one plus , you explained the Generations of Mobile technology in simple, minimal but effective way
     

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  8. drl431 Jelly Bean Feb 24, 2019


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  9. YRJ KitKat Feb 24, 2019


    #7
    Dale F. and buntycubal like this.
  10. YRJ KitKat Feb 24, 2019


    #8
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  11. buntycubal Lollipop Feb 24, 2019

    buntycubal, Feb 24, 2019 :
    I'm searching for 50kbit/s or 1mbit/s (GSM ) option for that..
     

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    YRJ likes this.
  12. YRJ KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    YRJ, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Exactly that's what I was thinking too.....
    Wonder what the answer is! :confused:
     

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    buntycubal likes this.
  13. Moin2200 KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    Moin2200, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Your internet couldn’t handle the load, only true 5G will reveal the answer.

    So be on the lookout for the 5G oneplus 7 later this year. ;)
     

    #11
    B.yashaswi and YRJ like this.
  14. YRJ KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    YRJ, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Lol!
    You work for OnePlus!!! :D:tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy: found the best marketing tactic ;)
    Fanboyeee!
     

    #12
    B.yashaswi and Moin2200 like this.
  15. Moin2200 KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    Moin2200, Feb 24, 2019 :
    You say that as a tease but I’m legit a fanboy :p

    Fun fact: I once bought an oneplus 2 invite for $70 dollars.
    Just so I could be one of the first to own one.
    Even though my oneplus one worked fine. :p
     

    #13
    Dale F., B.yashaswi and YRJ like this.
  16. YRJ KitKat Feb 24, 2019

    YRJ, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Wait what? :eek:
    I wasn't teasing when I said 'fanboy', I had some idea about it!!
    But dude you paid 70 for an invite? Wow!
    We're you disappointed later? You got no nougat :p
     

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    B.yashaswi and Moin2200 like this.
  17. GarageRamen Gingerbread Feb 24, 2019


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  18. aris Jelly Bean Feb 24, 2019


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  19. meatandy Nougat Feb 24, 2019

    meatandy, Feb 24, 2019 :
    Please allow my to ask this question ,
    Isn't true that initially 5G capable devices will need to piggyback on 4G until 5G service is commonly widespread ?
     

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  20. shivu191995 Donut Feb 24, 2019

    shivu191995, Feb 24, 2019 :
    No matter the fast innovation is coming and i appreciate that but this is going to just excite you and make you more lazy in all physical activities that are essential for you.For example the self driving cars that need 5G.One day the future of humans is going to be just sitting at one place with no activity in their body and just their brains working.You all are taught about the history of technology .If this is the present where you can do stuff with just a command of your voice then what is your future going to be?Just rethink that.
     

    #18
    FlixbusLennart likes this.
  21. FlixbusLennart The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Feb 24, 2019

    FlixbusLennart, Feb 24, 2019 :
    I'm just sitting here right now, reading this and having that feeling that I always have when I see something innovative:
    Wow, this will be obsolete in no time!

    I remember when 3G was widespread and it was THE tech to go with. My first friend getting his hands on a 4G phone, I think it was the iPhone 5s or so. We all stood around him, watching in awe how fast his downloads were. Now, not even 10 years later, we prepare for the launch of something even faster, even more ambitious.
    What will we think of 5G in the future, what would someone, who reads this thread in 2030, think about how we present 5G? Will they read this on their super cool new 6G device, or 7G and laugh about how dumb we once were to believe that 5G was cool?
    Or, is there a cap? Some point where it's just enough to use. Is there something better than no latency? Even less than no latency? Will there ever be 64K movies that you need those 8G speeds for? I can imagine this, but at the same time I can't. Very weird feeling...
     

    #19
    Dale F., Tom B., B.yashaswi and 4 others like this.