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关于即将到来的5G时代,你需要知道这些

更新时间:2019/1/13 11:13:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

5G Is Coming This Year. Here’s What You Need to Know.
关于即将到来的5G时代,你需要知道这些

In 2019, a big technology shift will finally begin. It’s a once-in-a-decade upgrade to our wireless systems that will start reaching mobile phone users in a matter of months.

2019年,一场重大的技术变革终于要开始了。这是我们的无线系统十年一次的升级,将在几个月内开始触及手机用户。

But this is not just about faster smartphones. The transition to new fifth-generation cellular networks — known as 5G for short — will also affect many other kinds of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to one another. This new era will leap ahead of current wireless technology, known as 4G, by offering mobile internet speeds that will let people download entire movies within seconds and most likely bring big changes to video games, sports and shopping.

但这不仅仅是让智能手机变得更快那么简单。向新的第五代蜂窝网络(简称5G)的过渡,还将影响许多其他类型的设备,包括工业机器人、保安摄像头、无人机和相互发送交通数据的汽车。通过提供能让人们在几秒钟内下载整部电影,并很有可能给电子游戏、体育和购物带来巨大变化的移动互联网速度,这个新时期相对当前的无线技术——即4G——是一次飞跃。

Officials in the United States and China see 5G networks as a competitive edge. The faster networks could help spread the use of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

美国和中国的官员们视5G网络为一种竞争优势。更快的网络可以帮助传播人工智能和其他尖端技术的使用。

Expect to hear more about 5G soon at events like the big consumer electronics trade show CES in January in Las Vegas and MWC Barcelona (formerly the Mobile World Congress) in February in Spain. Wireless service providers including AT&T and Verizon are already talking up 5G. And device makers are previewing gadgets that will work with the technology.

在1月拉斯维加斯的大型消费电子展会CES和2月巴塞罗那世界移动通信大会(MWC)这样的活动中,预计很快就能了解更多关于5G的信息。包括AT&T和威瑞森(Verizon)在内的无线服务提供商已经在谈论5G。设备制造商正在预测试与该技术配套的设备。

Samsung recently demonstrated prototypes of 5G smartphones that are expected to operate on both Verizon and AT&T networks. Many other manufacturers are racing to follow suit, though Apple is not expected in the initial 5G wave. Analysts predict that iPhones with the new technology won’t arrive until 2020. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

三星(Samsung)最近展示了预计会在威瑞森和AT&T网络上运行的5G智能手机样机。许多其他制造商正在竞相跟进,尽管苹果(Apple)预计不会出现在最初的5G浪潮中。分析师预测,采用新技术的iPhone将直到2020年才会到来。苹果发言人拒绝置评。

Here’s what you need to know.

这里是你需要知道的东西。

What exactly is 5G?

5G究竟是什么?

Strictly speaking, 5G is a set of technical ground rules that define the workings of a cellular network, including the radio frequencies used and how various components like computer chips and antennas handle radio signals and exchange data.

严格来说,5G是一套技术基础规则,它定义了蜂窝网络的工作方式,包括使用的无线电频率以及电脑芯片和天线等各种组件如何处理无线电信号和交换数据。

Since the first cellphones were demonstrated in the 1970s, engineers from multiple companies have convened to agree on new sets of specifications for cellular networks, which are designated a new technology generation every decade or so. To get the benefits of 5G, users will have to buy new phones, while carriers will need to install new transmission equipment to offer the faster service.

自从20世纪70年代手机首次被演示以来,来自多家公司的工程师就已经聚集起来,就蜂窝网络的新一套规范达成一致,即蜂窝网络每十年左右被指定为新一代技术。为了获得5G的产品功效,用户将不得不购买新的手机,而运营商将需要安装新的传输设备以提供更快的服务。

How fast will 5G be?

5G有多快?

The answer depends on where you live, which wireless services you use and when you decide to take the 5G plunge.

答案取决于你生活在哪里、你使用哪种无线服务以及你何时决定尝试使用5G。

Qualcomm, the wireless chipmaker, said it had demonstrated peak 5G download speeds of 4.5 gigabits a second, but predicts initial median speeds of about 1.4 gigabits. That translates to roughly 20 times faster than the current 4G experience.

无线芯片制造商高通公司(Qualcomm)称5G的下载速度峰值可以达到每秒4.5千兆比特,但预计初始中值速度约为1.4千兆比特。这相当于目前4G体验的大约20倍。

The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in higher-quality streaming video. And downloading a typical movie at the median speeds cited by Qualcomm would take 17 seconds with 5G, compared with six minutes for 4G.

5G速度在高质量流媒体视频中尤其引人注目。按照高通所称的中值速度,下载一部常规大小的电影用5G只需17秒,而4G需要6分钟。

Rather than remembering to download a season of a favorite TV show before heading to the airport, for example, you could do it while in line to board a plane, said Justin Denison, a Samsung senior vice president.

三星高级副总裁贾斯汀·丹尼森(Justin Denison)说,你不必在前往机场前,记着下载好某一季最喜爱的电视节目,你可以在比如排队登机时下载。

Is that the only speed that matters?

这是唯一重要的速度吗?

No. There’s another kind of speed, a lag known as latency, that may become even more important with 5G.

不是。还有另一种速度,被称为延迟的滞后问题,这个在5G上可能更加重要。

Issue a command now on a smartphone — like starting a web search — and the response isn’t exactly immediate. A lag of 50 to several hundred milliseconds is common, partly because signals often must pass between different carrier switching centers; 5G, which uses newer networking technology, was designed to reduce latency down to a few milliseconds. It was also designed to deliver signals more reliably than earlier cellular networks, which today frequently drop bits of data that aren’t essential for tasks like watching movies on a phone.

当前在智能手机上发出一条指令——比如开启网页搜索——得到的响应确切来说并不是即时的。延迟50至几百毫秒很常见,部分是因为信号通常要在不同的运营商交换中心之间传递;5G采用了更新的网络技术,被设计用于将延迟降至几毫秒。它还被设计用于比早前的蜂窝网络更可靠地传输信号,后者如今在一些并非不可或缺的使用中,比如在手机上看电影,是经常会丢掉一些数据的。

That improvement could bring many benefits, notably in fields such as virtual reality. The highest-quality VR applications now typically require bulky headsets that are connected by wire to nearby personal computers that generate 3D images. With 5G, that would be off-loaded wirelessly to other machines, freeing users to move and making it easier to develop goggles the size of eyeglasses, said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm’s semiconductor business.

这种改进可带来很多益处,比较显著的是在虚拟现实这类领域。最高质量的虚拟现实应用现在一般都要配备笨重的头具,以有线方式接到附近生成3D图像的个人计算机上。高通半导体业务总裁克里斯蒂亚诺·阿蒙(Cristiano Amon)说,有了5G就可以无线连接到其它机器上,使用户可以自由移动,也可以更容易开发出眼镜大小的目镜。

In the related field of augmented reality, people could point a smartphone camera at a football game and see both live video on the display and superimposed player statistics or other data, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

穆尔咨询和战略公司(Moor Insights & Strategy)分析师帕特里克·穆尔黑德(Patrick Moorhead)说,在增强现实(AR)的相关领域,人们可以用智能手机的摄像头对准一场足球比赛,在显示屏上观看直播视频的同时,可以看叠加的球员统计数据或其它数据。

And 5G’s impact extends to medicine and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections.

5G的影响还触及医疗及其它日益依赖高速连接的领域。

“If you talk about remote surgery or connected cars, you don’t want latency times to be too long,” said Fredrik Jejdling, an executive vice president at Ericsson, a maker of cellular equipment.

“要说到远程手术或联网汽车,你可不想有太多延迟,”手机设备制造商爱立信公司(Ericsson)执行副总裁弗雷德里克·杰德林(Fredrik Jejdling)说。

When will 5G be here?

5G什么时候会到来?

The answer for smartphone users in the United States appears to be by the second quarter of 2019; precise timing is uncertain.

对于美国的智能手机用户,答案似乎是在2019年第二季度;确切时间尚不确定。

Countries expected to follow the United States with 2019 rollouts of 5G include Britain, Germany, Switzerland, China, South Korea and Australia, according to a timetable compiled by Qualcomm.

根据高通公司编制的时间表,预计2019年将在美国之后于推出5G技术的国家包括英国、德国、瑞士、中国、韩国和澳大利亚。

Will consumers see the full benefits of 5G?

消费者能充分享受5G的优越吗?

Verizon and AT&T will introduce their 5G offerings with the first use of high frequencies that are known by the phrase “millimeter wave.” Using this, the wireless providers can pump data at high speeds, but the signals don’t travel as far. So the two carriers are expected to first target densely populated areas — “parts or pockets” of cities, as AT&T’s Fuetsch put it.

威瑞森和AT&T将在它们的5G产品中首次使用称为“毫米波”的高频技术。利用这一点,无线服务提供商可以高速传输送数据,但信号能传输的距离有限。因此,预计这两家运营商将首先瞄准人口密集的地区——用AT&T的安德烈·富奇(Andre Fuetsch)的话来说,就是城市的“部分地区”。

Sprint and T-Mobile plan to start with lower frequencies. The result may be somewhat slower initial speeds but broader range, said Michael Thelander, president of Signals Research, a wireless consultancy.

Sprint和T-Mobile计划从较低的频率开始。无线咨询公司信号研究(Signals Research)的总裁迈克尔·泰兰德(Michael Thelander)说,结果可能是初始速度有所减慢,但覆盖范围更广。

Still, 5G’s full benefits aren’t expected until U.S. carriers upgrade key central switching equipment, which may not happen until late 2019 or sometime in 2020.

不过,5G的全部好处预计要等到美国的运营商升级核心交换设备之后才能实现,而这可能要到2019年末或2020年的某个时候。

So should I buy a smartphone that works with 5G right away?

我是否应该马上买一台支持5G的智能手机呢?

You have a lot to consider. For example, while Verizon and AT&T plan to later add 5G services based on lower frequencies that offer wider coverage, the first 5G handsets may not work with those portions of their networks. So the reach of 5G signals for those phones may remain limited.

你需要考虑很多事情。例如,虽然威瑞森和AT&T计划稍后增加基于低频的5G服务,提供更广泛的覆盖范围,但是第一批5G手机在其该部分网络下可能无法正常工作。因此,这些手机的5G信号范围可能仍然受限。

“I wouldn’t buy a 5G phone until it supports 5G in one of the lower-frequency bands,” Mr. Thelander said. “For all operators but Sprint, this means at least late 2019, and more likely 2020.”

“在5G手机能支持较低频段的5G网络之前,我不会购买它,”泰兰德说。“对于除了Sprint之外的所有运营商,这意味着至少要在2019年末,更有可能会是在2020年。”

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