What is 5G?
The 5G network encompasses a set of technologies corresponding to the fifth generation of the standard for mobile telephony. 5G is currently the most advanced form of very high-speed Internet access.
The principle of its operation is the same as that of previous generations. Each generation of network has a lifespan of about 20 years. The launch of 4G began in 2013 and will be fully installed by 2030.
For its part, 5G has been under consideration since 2012. Its commercial launch began in 2020.
Increased speeds, reduced latency, improved user experience in mobile situations: 5G offers new uses and business opportunities that were previously technically impossible in all sectors of activity.
In addition to the traditional Surfing on the Internet, the goal is to be able to take control of objects remotely.
The effects of 5G on data centers
The new 5G network will process, store and distribute larger amounts of data. This represents additional pressure on data centers.
It increases the demand for computing capacity of course but this is not the only repercussion. Associated infrastructures such as storage, connectivity, and support for edge computing will need to keep pace with evolution and demand, growing ever more.
Data centers are already preparing for this future high demand by increasing their upgrade processes.
The initiative begins with replacing simple network materials like switches and routers with 5G-enabled devices. They are also studying the effects of 5G on existing technologies. Data center operators also need to train their staff, offer certifications, and hire.
The world of the data center is now adapting to the requirements of operators.
Data centers, an ecological puzzle
The arrival of 5G is the perfect example of the difficult combination of digital and ecology.
Digital is part of our daily lives.
Today, it would represent about 10% of the world’s energy power.
“With 2G, we could finally call in the street, with 3G, we were able to send MMS while 4G allowed us to have really nomadic connected uses such as consulting websites, sending emails wherever we are… »
explains Maxime Efoui-Hess, project coordinator at the Shift Project.
The arrival of 5G is a good example of the tensions and challenges around the technology.
Indeed, a lot of misinformation is circulating about 5G: does it have harmful effects on fauna and flora?
Even if some claim that mobile telephony harms flora and fauna, this is false. Many studies have looked into this issue: based on current knowledge, there is no scientific evidence that there is a danger to plants and animals if the limit values are respected.
This observation is rather reassuring, especially since the limit values for mobile telephony in Switzerland will remain the same, even with the introduction of the new standard. 5G in itself therefore does not represent a major danger to nature.
On the contrary: thanks to the use of adaptive antennas, we can expect a decrease in average exposure, adaptive antennas send electromagnetic fields only where the connected device is located. Exposure around the antenna will on average be lower for people, animals and plants than with conventional antennas used so far.
5G in Switzerland
Dense and efficient networks, with adaptive mobile antennas for 5G, combined with a targeted development of optical fiber, can move Switzerland towards a high-speed society.
In addition, the conditions are in place to effectively protect the population against radiation from antennas. These are the conclusions of a report approved by the Federal Council at its meeting on 13 April 2022.
For the economy and society, having high-performance telecommunications infrastructure is of great value. (source)
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