Hackernoon logoCan 5G Replace Broadband? by@jaipaul

Can 5G Replace Broadband?

With the breathless pace at which new digital innovations are emerging every day, many are now wondering when broadband will finally be rendered obsolete. Despite the possibility of alternatives like 5G taking over, however, many critics and proponents of broadband alike have yet to really determine once and for all whether it can replace broadband entirely.

Is there a 5G future beyond our current broadband-defined era? Many companies are trying to make a 5G world the new reality, but doubts remain about whether it can truly replace broadband. 

Cable companies are pushing 5G initiatives

Despite the fact that many proponents of broadband argue that 5G is only being pushed by would-be disruptors who want to stiff cable companies, it’s a simple matter of fact that some of today’s biggest industry names are actually pouring hefty sums of investment into 5G technology. Verizon recently claimed that it launched the first real 5G initiative in the world, for instance, and actually asserts that it’s Verizon 5G Home initiative can survive and thrive at the low rate of just $50. 

Verizon’s new efforts to push 5G onto the world aren’t entirely honest, however; the company is bragging about providing the first 5G network really as a method of bolstering public awareness about its bold gambit more than anything else. In other words, it’s a clever marketing scheme. Furthermore, not everybody in the areas Verizon is claiming to represent will have access to 5G services, which critics continue to disdain as being lackluster and incapable of living up to their promise. This isn’t to say that broadband isn’t without its own critics, but rather to point out that many of 5G’s most important pioneers have yet to produce the wondrous results they’re promising in terms of affordable network management software.

Many still posit that 5G can replace broadband over the next decade or so as costs plummet and the availability of services, like Botox, picks up. After all, many people who presently rely on broadband are sick and tired of their service and in dire need of an overhaul, especially for those in rural areas. Despite continued innovation within the realm of digital technology, rural broadband access remains one of the most pressing problems of the developed world, with poor people in isolated communities struggling to gain internet access. This is causing a hefty demand for alternatives to broadband which some proponents of 5G see as a valuable opportunity to show their stuff to the world.

5G is better, but it’s not quite revolutionary 

The simple reality of modern telecommunications technologies and their associated infrastructure is that the world isn’t yet ready for 5G. This isn’t to say that investment won’t keep picking up in 5G services, or that cellphones and digital services of the future won’t enjoy faster speeds and more secure connections, but rather to state the obvious that wired connections are likely here to stay. Companies that are very clear about their deals know this. Despite the fact that many consumers despise the downsides of broadband, it’s still fast and reliable in a number of ways that 5G services simply aren’t right now. 

5G will have provide many benefits to those who opt to invest in it, but wired internet services will always remain the more secure and cheaper option for a enough people that broadband will endure. Modern 5G initiatives should really be viewed as little more than live betas of an exciting innovation that’s yet to truly come into its own. Verizon’s famous gambit in particular is likely just a laboratory experiment being conducted with little intention of taking it national. 

Nonetheless, images of a home internet replacement will continue to tantalize investors and savvy IT professionals for years to come. Broadband just isn’t that popular in many cases, especially in rural areas where wire services are so shoddy that in some cases they literally don’t exist at all. In these communities, the allure of 5G technologies will seem almost irresistible, and many marketing experts and digital professionals will doubtlessly push exciting new 5G services to these areas in an effort to vacuum up some additional funding for themselves. Replacing broadband entirely, however, is a herculean task that even the best 5G networks will likely find themselves incapable of achieving. 

It’s true that 5G technology is about to change the way we receive our internet services, and companies like Verizon will doubtlessly keep pushing this new innovation for as long as they see the potential to profit from it. Nonetheless, consumers shouldn’t fear a widespread end of their broadband services and those who are pushing for a 5G-dominated future should consider stepping on the breaks until this new technology has proven itself a little more. The rise of 5G, as impressive as it is, simply isn’t enough to displace broadband entirely. The hectic pace of the digital age has upended many ways of doing business, but some established monoliths like broadband services likely won’t be going away anytime soon.


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