In the 90’s when the world wide web became a thing the next revolution was born. I was in my late teens, early 20’s and I was confused, mesmerized and probably a little scared (yes I am a Gen Xer). I was in the Navy when I heard about it and was honorably discharged in 1997 @ 22 years old. Although I had heard about the web and was curious I still had not officially got on or even really understood what it was until I started school right out of the Navy to pursue an engineering degree. I had my Hewlett Packard (actually it was my girlfriend’s, now wife) and my internet provider, I believe it was called Prodigy (dial-up 56K). Hit dial and the amazing noise of pings, scratched, knocks, hisses & strange sounds came out of a box that connected me to what now is called the web or web 1.0. It was amazing, it was astonishing, I was in love.
That was almost twenty-five years ago and since then Netflix, Facebook, Google, Twitter…..& millions of other online sites we get out news, entertainment, and information have been birthed from that original pipeline. This was the web 2.0.
I would say today we as of writing this opinion piece (based off personal experience of actually being there) that we are in web 2.5 and the reason I think this is because, of 5G, fiber to the house, and 10G fiber links to businesses and beyond. Although dialup has not been a normal practice for 20+ years it is important to understand that 5G is what web 2.0 was to web 1.0.
The idea that you can have a wireless device in hand and have 1Gb per second download is mind boggling. Yes, I have seen 1Gb+ in speed tests (see Below).
What I mean by that statement is that when the birth of the web came about there was very little content. Yes, there were you static pages that people made but it was all very rudimentary no search engines or social media (at least not like today), I did pay for a search engine called Copernic *cough, yes you heard me right I paid for a search on the web. Then I heard about this thing (word of mouth) called Google. We found funny pics (were not called meme’s) and lots of Flash sites (I was a Macromedia Flash Freak) and just really innovated things around the web and the world. We were connected it felt amazing. Cell phones (although they were 2G and no one text, unless you were rich). No smart phones it was clunky but new and so very exciting. Then a few years later after I was already graduated from College and onto my career their was this thing called MySpace it was amazing for about a minute then Facebook, Twitter, Podcasts, online gaming became a thing like never before. The XBOX & PS2 came out and you could go to Blockbuster to rent games and pay a later charge fee because it takes more than 2 days to finish the game, the Nerd in me was born and wanting more. Netflix came out it was amazing very little streaming content but you could get a disc in the mail (DVD) and watch shows & movies for a small monthly fee, life was grand.
We were moving into high speed internet 50Mbs+ then 200Mbs and web 2.5 is not in full effect. The thing is though, we have just scratched the surface. The talk of AI and antonymous cars. Flying machines and gadgets that were science fiction just a few years ago. The rumors of the Metaverse is upon us. Where we will immerse ourselves into digital surroundings with all the IOT and virtual reality.
So, why is 5G the catapult? Because all of that IOT, autonomous cars, flying machines, drones, & satellites all have to talk to each other. They have to be safe, they have to be fast, and they have to be accurate. 5G is the new pipeline that allows 3rd party developers, corporations, and and who knows who else to have the freedom to take it to the next level. We are still several years out before this can be a reality, not because 5G tech isn’t here now, but because in order to do the things I mentioned in a safe, speedy, reliable way is on millimeter wave. This allows the ping to be so low it is or potentially could be a Nano seconds.
Ping is the time it takes the device you are using to ping the server and back to your device. The faster that is, the more reliable things can be.
Imagine you are surgeon in China performing heart surgery in Canada in real time. When you move your hand in china you expect that the robotic arm actually performing the surgery moves when you move with no delay or (lag). Lag is the delay from the time an action is made and the server recognizes the movement then performs, if you have ever played online games you have experienced either lag first hand or someone complaining (blaming it on lag), when I wax their ass in Apex Legends – ‘oh, sorry I digress.’
Millimeter wave has it’s downside, it cannot penetrate through a wall or body or basically and object. The signal is blocked and lost therefore the connection is severed. As you can see in the previous example of the surgery being performed this could be catastrophic. So, how do we get around this? The idea is, is to have a 360° rotation where any and all angles are available in-case of unintended interference.
Although this is not a reality yet, the infrastructure will be in place in the future. Now in our example it is fairly simple to do and is available today because it is in a controlled environment. However, where it gets tricky is with automated automobiles driverless or known as antonymous cars. This is where in order to be safe the actual vehicles have to talk not only to the server in real time but also to each other in real time. If something goes wrong mechanically or an issue with weather and/or even some foreign object the cars on all sides need to know so they can react accordingly. This is where it gets a little sticky. Small Cells (cellular towers or radios) will have to be added in a 360° on the highways, interstates, and various city streets.
There have been talks of drones or even putting radios on lamp posts, signs, in the mediums, or even the road itself. As you can imagine this is extremely costly and so much red-tape I could see where with may never be 100% where it needs to be.
This is Web 3.0 in my opinion. Not speeds, not apps, but literally re-inventing what will be done. Hardware, software, transportation, & communication will all become one like Neo.