5G – what it will give us, and what will it take away? How will it change the public Internet infrastructure?
5G is stopping to be a buzzword in front of our very eyes, and is becoming a technology applied by an increasing range of devices, as well as, is available in more and more locations. The consequences of the popularization of 5G are generally known: a significant increase in the data transfer speed will provide higher quality multimedia for everyone, and will open new paths for the creators of applications. However, most often we focus on the benefits of 5G and not on what it will surely take away from us.
What will 5G take away?
In July 2016 the United Nations adopted a resolution, according to which, Internet access is a human right. That may cause certain claims from people who are excluded in this regard. Rightly so – they have the right to demand their representatives, to ensure their access to a highly efficient infrastructure. The matter applies not only to quickly developing country – for years, even in many developed countries, hotspots that give access to public Wi-Fi in city centers, public transportation, and institutional buildings, have been springing up like mushrooms.
The popularisation of the LTE standard, strongly reduced the interest in the public Internet infrastructure. It is but one of the issues – another one is the dramatic level of security. It is no wonder, that the public hotspots are the ones that are listed by network security experts as examples of untrusted connections. One should expect, that 5G will speed up the trend of the lowering popularity of the public Internet access even further. Soon, it will be made clear, that something that just a decade ago would make each city proud, will become an dangerous thing of the past tomorrow.
Does public infrastructure have a future?
Of course, history already knows such cases. One must simply examine, how a significant number of Internet users have connected to the Network for years. It will be no exaggeration to say, that many of them experienced their first contact with a browser in an … Internet cafe. Nowadays, these places are relics that at times function in run-down tourist centers, yet, at the beginning of the 21st century, they were the centers of Internet counter-culture, a place of meetings for hours of online gaming marathons, but also, a unique, regarding the amount of available assets, source of information for a countless number of people worldwide.
The place that once could be regarded as the temple of the Internet, now is practically non-existent. Similarly, the expensive investments in public infrastructure of Internet access, once the determinants of modernity and of answering to the needs of the zeitgeist, now are deteriorating, and are the centers of the man-in-the-middle attacks. Everything points to the fact, that they too will soon vanish from our scenery, and the air will be freed from the overlapping radio waves, emitted from restaurants, trains, malls, or public administration buildings.
The New York twist of fate, i.e. LinkNYC
Within the context of these conclusions one must refer to the project, once realized in the Streets of New York. It seems like an exceptionally mean and ironical twist of fate. It appears that the process, being a caricature reflection of the aforementioned expiry of the need to maintain an obsolete infrastructure , had already taken place, however, within the context of the communication of the previous generation. Obviously, we are talking about … the phone booths! However, tt is not simply about the obvious elimination of the necessity of maintaining a system of phone booths, as a result of the popularisation of cell phones.
In New York, a LinkNYC program was realized, involving the systemic replacement of the traditional phone booths with modern hotspot modern, and modernising them, so that they could serve the purpose of Wi-Fi signal spread. Probably a few years back, few would realize, that the project, which at the time was considered as an absolute cutting-edge solution regarding public infrastructure, would just a while later – by means of the LTE revolution, and soon the 5G – become a pitiful thing of the past, used mostly by the thieves of login data for banking services.