What is 5G?

5G or “Fifth Generation” is used to describe a group of standards for faster cellular internet. While current 4G networks can offer bandwidths of 1gbps, 5G networks can offer speeds of 20gbps at lower latency than 4G.

This massive increase in bandwidth radically changes the dynamics of internet access. 5G gives customers access to very quick internet access both at home and on the go and even gives users the option of 5G home internet rather than traditional cable or DSL connections. 

The prevalence of high speed low latency internet access is also expected to drive the “internet of things” revolution, allowing small specialized computers and sensors such as autonomous vehicles or security cameras to connect cheaply and easily to the internet, creating new markets and disrupting old ones.

One of the major differences between 4G and 5G networks is the use of much higher frequency signals, known as “millimeter waves”. This technology allows for much higher speeds but at drastically reduced ranges. That means providers are going to need many more cell sites to serve the same coverage area.

    What are 25G and 100G?

    25gbps and 100gbps are newer Ethernet standards operating at higher bandwidths and their prices are falling fast. In data centers today, the current trend is moving away from older 10gbps and 40gbps Ethernet standards and moving towards newer 25gbps and 100gbps networks, increasing both bandwidth and density in the same footprint. 

    Why do 5G networks need 25G and 100G?

    What does this mean for 25G and 100G optics?

    Because of the shorter range of 5G cells, network operators will need many more of them to cover the same area. When building new sites or upgrading existing ones, higher speed optics are a must.

    While existing 3G and 4G sites may have gotten away with lower speed copper interconnects, upgrading them to 5G sites will require the bandwidth provided by fiber, increasing the high speed optics demand even higher.

    Expect to see higher shipments of 25G and 100G optics in the coming years, as 5G rollouts get underway and data centers continue the trend towards these faster standards.

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