Are You Ready For 5G?
5G sounds amazing with the promise of more bandwidth than any of us can handle. Faster downloads, 32K video streaming (no that is not a real thing) and the ability to – finally – connect your smart toilet to your mobile app without slowing down your latest gaming effort. The reality is that 5G does offer amazing upgrades but they come with a price in the form on more antennas – a LOT more antennas. While a 4G antenna was both huge (e.g. see medieval castles) and covered miles (unless you live in the front range), 5G uses small antennas that cover 1000 feet. This means that there will be 5G antennas everywhere…including on and in your home. In fact, companies such as Verizon want to place large cans on the side of houses whereas others, such as Cisco, want to embed antennas into your lightbulbs. Sounds pretty…ummm…wait you want to place WHAT…WHERE?!? The recent uproar over the inactive microphone sitting in the Google security system shows that consumers are incredibly afraid of losing what little privacy they have left and for good reason. Can you honestly remember the last month that went by without some major corporate hack? And yet nobody is talking about how the consumers will respond, how adoption might not occur because a) most of us already have decent Internet and b) nobody trusts more technology as it attempts to intrude ever further into our lives. What is needed for 5G to succeed is an ability to monitor and control privacy by consumers. We want to know what data is being sent through our homes, what we are inadvertently sharing with the world and what options we have for regaining our privacy. 5G sounds great until the true cost is realized.