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What is 5G and what will it mean for you?



Superfast “fifth generation 5G” mobile internet could be launched as early as next year in some countries, promising download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than we have now. But what difference will it really make to our lives? Will we need new phones? And will it solve the “notspot” issue for people in remote areas?

What is 5G exactly?

It’s the next – fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity promising much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage, and more stable connections.

It’s all about making better use of the radio spectrum and enabling far more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time.

What will it enable us to do?

“Whatever we do now with our smartphones we’ll be able to do faster and better,” says Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company.

“Think of smart glasses featuring augmented reality, mobile virtual reality, much higher quality video, the internet of things making cities smarter.

“But what’s really exciting is all the new services that will be built that we can’t foresee.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Imagine swarms of drones co-operating to carry out search and rescue missions, fire assessments and traffic monitoring, all communicating wirelessly with each other and ground base stations over 5G networks.

Similarly, many think 5G will be crucial for autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read live map and traffic data.

  • Drones to the rescue! – BBC News
  • What will stop these self-driving lorries colliding?

More prosaically, mobile gamers should notice less delay – or latency – when pressing a button on a controller and seeing the effect on screen. Mobile videos should be near instantaneous and glitch-free. Video calls should become clearer and less jerky. Wearable fitness devices could monitor your health in real time, alerting doctors as soon as any emergency arises.

How does it work?

There are a number of new technologies likely to be applied – but standards haven’t been hammered out yet for all 5G protocols. Higher-frequency bands – 3.5GHz (gigahertz) to 26GHz and beyond – have a lot of capacity but their shorter wavelengths mean their range is lower – they’re more easily blocked by physical objects.

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So we may see clusters of smaller phone masts closer to the ground transmitting so-called “millimeter waves” between much higher numbers of transmitters and receivers. This will enable a higher density of usage. But it’s expensive, and telecoms companies are not wholly committed yet.

Is it very different from 4G?

Yes, it’s a brand new radio technology, but you might not notice vastly higher speeds at first because 5G is likely to be used by network operators initially as a way to boost capacity on existing 4G (LTE – Long-Term Evolution) networks, to ensure a more consistent service for customers. The speed you get will depend on which spectrum band the operator runs the 5G technology on and how much your carrier has invested in new masts and transmitters.

So how fast could it be?

The fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45Mbps (megabits per second) on average, although the industry is still hopeful of achieving 1Gbps (gigabit per second = 1,000Mbps). Chipmaker Qualcomm reckons 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds about 10 to 20 times faster in real-world (as opposed to laboratory) conditions.

Image copyright Getty Images

Imagine being able to download a high-definition film in a minute or so.

This is for 5G networks built alongside existing 4G LTE networks. Standalone 5G networks, on the other hand, operating within very high frequencies (30GHz say) could easily achieve gigabit-plus browsing speeds as standard. But these aren’t likely to come in until a few years later.

Why do we need it?

The world is going mobile, and we’re consuming more data every year, mainly as the popularity of video and music streaming increases. Existing spectrum bands are becoming congested, leading to breakdowns in service, mostly when lots of people in the same area are trying to access online mobile services at the same time. 5G is much better at handling thousands of devices simultaneously, from mobiles to equipment sensors, video cameras to smart street lights.

When is it coming?

Most countries are unlikely to launch 5G services before 2020, but Qatar’s Ooredoo says it has already begun a commercial service, while South Korea is aiming to start next year, with its three largest network operators agreeing to kick off at the same time. China is also racing to launch services in 2019.

Image copyright Getty Images

Meanwhile, regulators around the world have been busy auctioning off spectrum to telecoms companies, who’ve been experimenting with mobile phone makers on new services.

Will I need a new phone?

Yes, I’m afraid so. But when 4G was introduced in 2009/10, compatible smartphones came onto the market before the infrastructure had been rolled out fully, leading to some frustration amongst consumers who felt they were paying more in subscriptions for a patchy service.

Image copyright Getty Images

This time, says Ian Fogg, phone makers are unlikely to make the same mistake, launching 5G handsets only when the new networks are ready, probably towards the end of 2019. These next-generation phones will be able to switch seamlessly between 4G and 5G networks for a more stable service.

Will it mean the end of fixed line services?

In a word, no. Telecoms companies have invested too much in fiber optic and copper wire fixed line broadband to give those up in a hurry. Domestic and office broadband services will be primarily fixed line for many years to come, although so-called set wireless access will be made available in tandem.

However good wireless connectivity becomes, many prefer the stability and certainty of physical wires.

Think of 5G mobile as a complimentary service for when we’re out and about, interacting with the world around us. It will also facilitate the much-heralded “internet of things.”

Will it work in rural areas?

Lack of signal and low data speeds in rural areas is a common complaint in the UK and many other countries. But 5G won’t necessarily address this issue as it will operate on high-frequency bands – to start with at least – that has a lot of capacity but cover shorter distances. 5G will primarily be an urban service for densely populated areas.

Image copyright Getty Images

Lower-frequency bands (600-800Mhz typically) are better over longer distances, so network operators will concentrate on improving their 4G LTE coverage in parallel with 5G roll-out.

But commercial reality means that for some people in very remote areas, connectivity will still be patchy at best without government subsidy making it worthwhile for network operators to go to these places.

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On – 23 Jul 2018 By Matthew Wall

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Mobile Devices

Triumph Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 get connected technology



Triumph Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 get connected technology

Connected technology is fast becoming a standard feature in most premium motorcycles over the last few years. In line with this, several companies have started retrofitting their old models with the latest-generation connected tech to compete with new rivals. One such company is Triumph which has been equipping its older models with new technology. The British motorcycle maker recently revealed that Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 are now available with the My Triumph connectivity system. The company noted that the two bikes can now be fitted with a TFT instrument console which will provide a host of features like telephony, turn-by-turn navigation, etc.

This new feature is available for older models as the BS6 variant already gets the connected technology. Triumph noted that Street Triple RS manufactured between 2017 and 2019 can be retrofitted with the new instrument console and connectivity features. And as for the Tiger 800, the ADV bikes with model years between 2018 to 2019 can be upgraded with the My Triumph connectivity system.

Triumph’s My Triumph connectivity system works alongside the My Triumph app that has been developed as a result of Google’s first partnership with a premium motorcycle brand. This app allows riders to wirelessly pair their smartphone with the motorcycle’s console and access features like turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance available through a Bluetooth headset is connected. The app also uses built-in what3words functionality to navigate to an exact three-meter.

Another major advantage offered by the My Triumph suite is that it lets riders control the GoPro camera using the TFT console and switchgear. Besides these, the connected tech offers provisions like make/receive calls, check SMS, and control music through the left side switchgear. And let’s not forget that there’s also a dedicated My Garage feature in the My Triumph app that provides information like odometer, average fuel consumption, scheduled service date on the smartphone. Triumph noted that the existing Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 customers will be able to retrofit their bikes with the TFT instrument cluster and connected technology from 21 December 2020. And in case you own a Triumph Tiger 1200, then the retrofit package will be available to you next year.

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Mobile Devices

Google just put a photo of the Pixel 4A on its store



Google just put a photo of the Pixel 4A on its store

Where is Google’s Pixel 4A? Sitting right on the company’s online store, as it turns out. Google seems to have mistakenly published an image of the Pixel 4A on its Canadian store. The text says “Nest Wifi,” but uh… that’s no Nest Wifi. The phone has already leaked substantially over the last few months, but this is marketing render direct from Google — and suggests that the 4A might finally be coming sometime in the near future.

Google just put a photo of the Pixel 4A on its store

Note also that the screen has a date of May 12th on it, which is pretty solid confirmation that Google did originally plan to launch the 4A during its annual developer’s conference before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 4A seen in the photo has a matte black finish with a light blue power button and the large camera cutout we’ve seen in prior leaks; there’s just one camera in there, though. Thankfully the headphone jack is still up there at the top. The phone is believed to have passed through the Federal Communications Commission last month, another sign that its release is coming closer. Whenever it does finally go on sale, the Pixel 4A is expected to be followed by the Pixel 5 sometime later this year. A 5G-compatible version of the 4A was also uncovered in the code for Google’s search app last week. But it seems like Google might be ditching a potential 5 XL, similar to how it has stuck with a single size for the 4A.

Unofficial preliminary specifications thanks to

LAUNCH Announced Not announced yet
Status Rumored
BODY Dimensions
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.81 inches, 82.9 cm2
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~444 ppi density)
PLATFORM OS Android 10
Chipset Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8 nm)
CPU Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
GPU Adreno 618
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
UFS 2.1
MAIN CAMERA Single 12.2 MP, (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Features LED flash, Auto-HDR, panorama
Video [email protected], [email protected]/60/120fps; gyro-EIS
SELFIE CAMERA Single 8 MP, 24mm (wide)
Features Auto-HDR
Video [email protected]
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 3080 mAh battery
Charging Fast charging 18W
MISC Colors Just Black, Barely Blue
Price About 400 EUR

Unfortunately, there are no surprises here. The Google Pixel 4a renders look exactly as we expected with the single selfie camera cutout on the front, the single lens in the Pixel 4 camera module on the back, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and an all-black colorway. Still, if there were any lingering doubts about what the phone would look like, you can now dash them away. Google still hasn’t formally announced a launch date for the Pixel 4a. However, with images popping up mistakenly on its own website, it certainly can’t be too far off now.

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TikTok a Chinese Social App Is a Cybersecurity Threat



The United States government is considering banning TikTok because it views the hugely popular social media app as a security threat, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The video app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has an estimated 65-80 million active monthly users in the U.S., who share 15-second videos with quick edits, music, and filters.TikTok has exploded in the last year, with over 175 million downloads in the U.S. and over 1 billion users worldwide. But since last fall, U.S. lawmakers have been calling for an investigation of TikTok’s relationship with its parent company and the Chinese government and of whether those reported ties pose a counterintelligence threat in America.

US looking at banning Chinese social media app TikTok as security threat: PompeoPompeo told Fox News the Trump administration is “certainly looking” at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.In response, a TikTok spokesperson told ABC News Tuesday the company is “led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users.” Pompeo cast TikTok as a security threat, accusing it of sharing users’ data with the Chinese government. When asked by Fox’s Laura Ingraham Monday night if he would recommend that people download the app, he responded, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

But the TikTok spokesperson denied that was true: “We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.” The company is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech firm that also started travel search and real estate search sites and is considered one of the world’s most valuable start-ups. TikTok has tried to distance itself from ByteDance, saying on its website that it “does business through subsidiaries of ByteDance Ltd., which is backed by global institutional investors.”

It also announced Monday it would remove the app from Hong Kong because of the Chinese government’s new national security law, which gives Beijing tighter control of the territory that was supposed to be semi-autonomous, including requiring tech companies there to hand over user data if requested. But Pompeo has cast virtually all Chinese companies as a security threat because of the Chinese internet security law, which allows the government to request access to their data. He did not provide specific evidence Monday that the Chinese government has requested that information from TikTok.

TikTok has become enormously popular amid coronavirus shutdowns across the U.S., with users spending an estimated 52 minutes each day and the number of unique visitors growing exponentially between January and April, according to Wallaroo Media, a digital advertising firm. Videos automatically play one after the other, ranging from attempts at viral dance moves to the comedian Sarah Cooper’s mocking lip-sync performances as President Donald Trump, which has earned her over 3 million likes. Cooper’s PR did not respond to questions about the administration’s possible ban. Last week, India banned the app amid growing tensions with China over a disputed border area high in the Himalaya mountains, casting it and 58 other Chinese-owned apps as security concerns that the Chinese government could exploit.

Australian officials have also said they are considering a ban.

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Mobile DevicesWhat is 5G and what will it mean for you?