Will 5G Change the World?


When I was a child mobile phones were science fiction. We hardly had a land line back then. As technology has evolved, fewer and fewer chords were required: we got rid of the phone lines first, followed by internet cables – I wonder when will someone with the attitude of Nikola Tesla invent wireless energy, so we can finally get rid of power lines, too. When it comes to mobile phones, we had a lot of evolution going on before our very eyes. Mobile networks have gotten faster in the last few years – now we are waiting for their fifth generation to be launched. 5G. Will it change the world?

According to the scientists working to release it, the fifth generation mobile network will be different from any of its predecessors. It will not just be faster – although downloading videos and slots 3 Reel slots are classic games for more information click here) will become much faster, the changes in the new mobile network will be much more profound and far reaching ones.

“5G will be a dramatic overhaul and harmonisation of the radio spectrum,” professor Rahim Tafazolli, lead of the 5G Innovation Centre at the Surrey University said to the BBC. The 5G network will be built with many of the new technologies recently introduced in mind – the much-anticipated “internet of things”, smart cities, remote surgery, and things we haven’t even dreamed of yet. The 5G network will connect much more than just our smartphones – it will connect everything.

The term “harmonization of the radio spectrum” is the key to all that change. Wireless data transmission is all done through radio waves, and each type of communication has its specific wavelength reserved for it. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is the institution that regulates the use of radio frequencies for TV and radio signals, mobile communication, or even airplanes. The spectrum is a bit of a mess at this time, as the BBC puts it, as the frequencies were assigned as new technologies were introduced, keeping the necessity and the occupied frequencies in mind. The ITU will re-arrange the frequencies used for mobile communication, allowing the existing 3G and 4G networks to function at the same time, and make way for the new, up to 100 times faster network.

100 times sounds amazing, right? According to Professor Tafazolli, the new 5G network will offer a bandwidth up to 800Gbps, which is really fast. Consider this: an average network card in your computer or laptop is capable of receiving data at a rate of 1Gbps. 5G has reached this performance during early tests in 2013, and at this predicted speed it will be possible to download 33 HD encoded movies in a second.

Tumbler IRL: The Digital Music Revolution Continues


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Tumbler IRL: The Digital Music Revolution Continues

It was a mere 15 years ago that Metallica filed a lawsuit against digital music host Napster, an act that would spawn more than a decade of bad blood between music artists and the concept of digital music. Today, digital music availability is widespread. And, although there are still some bad apples bobbing in the piracy seas, accountability for digital music has made leaps and bounds. There is a growing list of apps and services that provide music for customers, and more artists are buying in.

Tumblr IRL

One of the most recent incarnates of digital music ingenuity is Tumblr IRL. This service is unique because it doesn’t just provide a digital recording of a song, but instead gives listeners a digital experience. The service digitizes a performance, in real life and in real time, and then offers some pretty sweet visuals in addition to the live tunes.

Tumblr claims that Tumblr IRL is an invitation for fans to peek behind the curtain of their favorite artist’s world. The company has partnered directly with the artists to create these audio-visual experiences that reflect the artist’s inspirations, passions and artistry through a medium that transcends the traditional concert setting.

Artists such as Childish Gambino, Manchester Orchestra and Broken Bells have already signed onto Tumblr IRL. And, this week at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Australian rock-ette Courtney Barnett teamed with Tumblr IRL to provide fans with an immersed experience.

Mobile Data Concerns

The accessibility of services like Tumblr IRL conjures up a new can of worms for music fans due to the sheer amount of data that it could possibly eat up. As digital music continues to expand, cell phone and service providers are working hard to keep up with its growth and their customer’s demands.

For example, many music fans choose to buy phones with T-Mobile because of its Music Freedom program, which lets its subscribers stream music from different services without counting it against their monthly data amount. Plus, T-Mobile just added many new music apps to its list of supported services, including heavy-hitters like Google Play Music, Xbox Music, SoundCloud, RadioTunes, Digitally Imported, Fit Radio and Mad Genius Radio. And, these options join the long list that already include Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio and Grooveshark.

T-Mobile estimated that the company streamed more 7,000 TB of music not counted against data caps to users in this program. They guess that the average daily streaming data used is now around 200 TB. Since the average data cost is $10 per 2 GB, this could potentially save subscribers quite a bit of dough.

Lessons Learned

The accessibility of digital music to the modern music aficionado is expanding as quickly as the technology that supports it can keep up. With services such as Tumblr IRL, digital music is starting to win over fans and artists alike. And, companies like T-Mobile are signing on to work with the tsunami of sound available online to bring music to listeners without gouging them.

Music and technology have come a long way in the past 15 years, since Metallica rode the lightning into the courtroom against Napster. Fortunately, we’ve learned a few things since then because the pace of digital music availability is showing no sign of slowing down

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