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5g (Fifth Generation Network) and the concept of Latency explained

Latency  – to put the term in simple words it is the time between I click on a picture online, and my computer can display that picture for me. The time between the click and the load is Latency. The longer the time, the more frustrating it can be. What if it wasn’t a picture you were clicking on, but instead you were clicking on a site providing information about a plant that your dog ate — latency matters when it is life or death. One of the reasons why robotic surgery hasn’t taken off is Latency. IF you have a doctor who can perform a specific surgery better than anyone in the world having that person preforming your surgery is the optimal scenario. But that surgeon lives in another state.

 It is the time between when I ask for something and when I get something is important for another reason. It is the reality of what type of data you are requesting. Again, if I am here on Virily and I request a full screen of one of Kim’s Flowers, or Lajenna’s Lunapics, or Flowers by Vidocka or CalodDm, Lado, Ghostwriter or expanding one of Linda’s favorite buildings, I probably expect a delay. In the world of cellular phones today, a Latency of 100 milliseconds is acceptable. In the future, with the 5th generation network (that is what 5g actually means), you will see Latency of 20 milliseconds on average. In the Cell phone world, that is a huge shift in available timing for applications and data.

But, to reply to the comments of yesterday, the technology has to be of value to you. Latency matters when you are doing surgery remotely or robotic surgery. Latency matters when you are talking about Driverless cars.  The other things that have to happen are there has to be value for people to want this new thing. Today if you are 20, there is value in 5g. On average they, 20-year-olds, watch more TV/Movies on their phone than on a TV. They stream Youtube and other channels of information to their phones. They listen to podcasts. As 5g rolls out (it is in 6 US cities, and 12 cities outside the US today), I suspect people are going to need a value proposition to move.

I know from our community here that robotic surgery and driverless cars aren’t of value to readers. But, what if you needed information in less than 2 seconds to save someone’s life. Would speed matter then?

  • Have you ever needed infromation in a specific time?

    • Yes
    • No
  • did you get the infroamtion in the time you needed?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Is your phone screen too small?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

21 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.


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  1. Probably we shall have 5G next year in my native country and while on the topic I have had a robotic surgery for removal of my Gal Bladder about a decade back. I agree with your point that we need faster services of data transfer to facilitate various services.

  2. I was thinking about latency and milliseconds and I flashed back to school days with the UNIVAC 1108. …. Reminiscing about punch cards, etc… Once, close to finals, I called the computer center and the message said, “The computer is down with no estimated up time. The number for Dial-A-Prayer is ….” Ahhh, the good old days. Oh, and there was some latency if we used the Teletype terminals to access the computer – it wasn’t necessary to used milliseconds. (ha, ha, ha)
    We have come a long way! Cheers.

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