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The Mysterious 5G

Michelle Ross

We don’t know if you’ve heard, but we won first place in the Verizon “Built on 5G Challenge” to prepare our product on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband. Thank you, yes, we are thrilled. Yet when we told our family and friends, we promptly discovered most people do not really know what 5G means. 

Imagine. You’re on the subway, and you see an advertisement that says 5G is coming. A faster, clearer world. You’re swiping through news headlines, and lawmakers are discussing 5G legislation. You’re waiting in line at the coffee shop for your lavender latte, and the people in front of you are debating whether 5G will save your life or end your life. You ask a colleague that always seems to know a little bit more about these things than you do, and they tell you to calm down, stop catastrophizing, and that 5G will just let you download your favorite Netflix show in seconds, saving you time and stress. And so you take a deep breath, and think, wait, what even is 5G?

We played our own version of MythBusters, and asked friends in the coworking space a few questions about the mysterious 5G. Meet our contestants...




Question 1: What is 5G?

Hannah: “I sadly have no clue, I don’t even know what 4G is. I’m one of those people that just kind of accepts that technology works the way that it does, but I would assume that it has something to do with cellular networks and their strengths.”

Noble: “5G is pretty much a huge network that gives people better internet service all over the world, versus 4G where some places the connection is more spotty...more people will be able to connect regardless of where they’re at, above ground or underground.”


Josh: “5G is a new broadband network that will connect a bunch of existing networks so that you have lightning fast speeds that have never been available before.”

And the answer is...

So the G part means generation as in upgrades.

1G: Mobile calls

2G: Texting

3G: Bad mobile internet

4G: Good mobile internet

5G: Excellent mobile internet. Faster downloads/uploads. More devices can access mobile internet simultaneously. Self-driving cars. A plethora of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) possibilities. The list goes on. (Source here.)

Photo courtesy of Verizon | Technicians installing 5G node

Question 2: Do you know how 5G works? How does it provide faster, higher-quality internet?

Hannah: “No, I would assume that it has to do with the upgrade of software and equipment, I guess. And with cell towers and satellites.”

Noble: “Is it fiber-optic piping underneath the ground?”

Josh: “No, I just know it has something to do with a back-end grid system that connects a bunch of cell towers.”

And the answer is...

The calls, texting and internet happens because of electromagnetic waves flying through the air from the cell tower to your phone. 5G has shorter wavelengths and means a lot more base stations stations. (Source here.)

Eight Ways 5G Will Unleash Business Potential | Video by Verizon

Question 3: 5G is very exciting for the future of augmented reality. What is augmented reality?

Hannah: “Being in a 4D situation. Before I knew what Ario was, I thought it was basically just putting on those virtual reality goggles and things are now around you that aren’t normally there. Just your reality is augmented virtually through software, graphic design, and things like that.”

Noble: “Augmented reality is like Sims. Real life things you can do in digital form. Like create something to be on the computer that you can actually do on the computer versus real life.”

Josh: “Augmented reality is using digital or virtual to place a layer over physical for information purposes or entertainment purposes. There’s a variety of ways you can use that content. Mostly via mobile. Often times with headsets as well.”

And the answer is...

Augmented Reality is an interactive experience where computer-generated information, sounds, images, smells, etc., are superimposed over the real world. This is different than virtual reality which is an entirely “not-real” but simulated environment that’s computer-generated. 


Ario will be working closely with Verizon’s 5G labs to bring our platform to their Ultra Wideband network. Verizon’s 5G network will enable speeds up to 10Gbps. Faster speeds mean more than just instantaneous downloads of your favorite shows and podcasts. Verizon states, “This throughput will enable things like autonomous vehicles, drive manufacturing efficiencies, and support AR/VR solutions and remote healthcare services.” If you still have a few questions lingering about in your head, here are some tidbits from Verizon: Source here.

Example use of the Ario platform.

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