How will the 5G technology change cloud computing?

​​​​​​​The launch of 5G has just begun, but it is already about to disrupt the current scene of cloud computing.

Verizon and other US telecom service providers have already launched the 5G technology and its lightning speeds in a few important markets. On the other side of the ocean, in the UK, a number of big players are also expected to roll out 5G this summer.

The expectation placed on 5G is as much as or even more than that on cloud computing over the past few years, which leads to the questions:

- How will 5G’s groundbreaking speed influence on cloud computing as well as some of its most common applications?

- How can 5G significantly improve the cloud or technology in general?

Why is 5G technology important?

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Just as its precedent network standards, 5G uses radio frequency (RF) waves to send and receive data. The minimum speeds for a network to be categorized as 5G are 20 Gbps for downloading and 10 Gbps for uploading. On the other hand, the current speeds of 4G are 150 and 15 Mbps respectively.

Along with incredible speeds, 5G also marked decreases latency which is the amount of time for 2 devices on a network to respond to one another. 3G networks had a latency of about 100 milliseconds, 4G takes around 30 milliseconds, while 5G will be minimum 1 millisecond.

What will 5G improve?

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The low latency will improve things that depend on speed such as near real-time control of robotics or remote surgery, etc.

5G will also bring about great improvements to the Internet of Things (IoT) and its application in smart cities. 5G can be used to reduce traffic congestion, manage water distribution needs, improve security and possibly decrease pollution.

In addition, currently agriculture also uses IoT devices to be more productive, so 5G can raise the global food supply. The technology will also markedly help autonomous and self-driving cars to make their wide adoption become reality.

Nevertheless, 5G is not all shiny and rainbow, especially for the cloud computing.

A possible effect of 5G on the cloud

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5G can be the possible death sentence for the cloud. One of the main reasons why the cloud is used for numerous devices is to connect and transmit data to a central hard drive with the location in the cloud.

If an employee wants to share a large file with a colleague, the cloud will make it simple: He/she just needs to upload it on the share drive, notify the co-worker when it’s done, and he/she can download it from the same shared drive.

However, with the presence of 5G, why do they have to go through all the troubles when they can just send the file directly from one to another. For example, the large 10 GB video can be directly sent from user to user in approximately 8 seconds.

While the cloud will still likely be important in a post-5G world (if the cloud providers are ready to make adaptation), the potential of the could as a thing of the past cannot be eliminated.  

By: Joe Cook