Definition December 2021 - Web


A new dawn of connectivity The widespread launch of fifth-generation mobile network technology is on the horizon, but what does it mean for the world of production?

WORDS. Lee Renwick

S ome technologies arrive and revolutionise their sector instantaneously. Others do not. When we consider 5G as a new offering that relies upon the roll-out of advanced global architecture, it’s easy to imagine which category it falls into. In fact, it’s been in development for over six years now, and the world saw its first usage in 2019 – albeit in a very limited capacity. There’s no exact timeline as far as ubiquitous 5G coverage is concerned, but film and television production is a forward-thinking industry. It’s no surprise certain key players have been exploring the potential – there’s no such thing as ‘too soon’ when it comes to advancing tech. Through digital sensors, the rise of LED, HDR workflows and virtual production, we’ve seen it time and time again

– those who dive in early are likely to make the biggest waves. IN THE CLOUDS “I anticipate 5G will be part of many solutions, but I think it will have to be a multi-threaded

approach, where the network is used alongside hard-wired connections and tools like Starlink,” says Tom Mitchell, technical director at Mission Digital and former DIT. “Alone, coverage is not consistent and, if you’re

Staggering stats

SPEED 5G is 100 times faster than 4G, which was 500 times faster than 3G

But how does it work? 5G functions around frequencies in the radio spectrum. In simple terms, coverage falls into three categories: low-band, mid-band and mmWave. Low-band 5G utilises frequencies below 1GHz, moving data relatively slowly, but over significant distances between antennae. Mid-band operates up to roughly 6GHz, with increased data speeds of 900Mbps over a distance of a few miles. The speed of 5G really comes into effect when data is pushed along the high-frequency mmWave spectrum, widely accepted to begin at 24GHz. It’s here that rates finally break the Gbps barrier, with performance expected to grow as necessary infrastructure is developed.

49. DECEMBER 2021

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