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5G is coming, what does this mean for consumers?

If you love technology, you've probably heard of 5G's announced arrival. In recent months, there have been several developments and news about the next generation of mobile networks and their potentialities and challenges.

However, do you really know what 5G is and why it might be important to you? We explain.

5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, delivering faster speed - an average download speed of around 1GB per second - and more reliable connections to smartphones and other mobile devices.

With the recent developments and various testing programs already scattered around the world, 5G networks are expected to be launched worldwide by 2020, working in tandem with existing 3G and 4G technologies to provide faster connections that stay online, wherever you are.

But what makes 5G so revolutionary?

Simple actions like downloading a movie can go from taking long minutes to 25 seconds. More complex things such as the large-scale circulation of fully autonomous cars can come true with the arrival of 5G since a fast and stable connection is essential for the operation of these vehicles.

On the other hand, the fifth generation of mobile networks will have more capacity to respond to the needs of the so-called "Internet of Things".

However, this theme is not without controversy. The Belgian government has recently cancelled projects that would make Brussels the first city to have this technology in 2020, claiming that the radiation level emitted by antennas would exceed legal limits in the country.

In terms of safety, 5G also still does not convince the experts. Current networks should be designed to withstand cyber attacks. However, Donald Trump removed a requirement imposed by the Obama administration that decreed that 5G networks should be designed to withstand cyber attacks. On the other hand, Chinese company Huawei, one of the major technological powers involved in the development of 5G, has been criticized for some security flaws in its software. The fact that it is headquartered in China also does not assure security experts, since the Chinese government has since 2017 a law that allows access to registries in the name of the national security and even to take control of companies based in the country.

Do we need 5G? Does it affect the health of citizens? Does it have the right security levels? At this moment the answers are scarce. The arrival of 5G means a huge step in technological development and will allow unprecedented technological advances. The question for society and the consumer: at what cost?

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