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Blog from July, 2020

ICANN & 5G Technology

Remember 3G? And the hype generated around its ability to enable usage of internet browsing along with voice and text? After that there was 4G, and the focus of its capabilities on faster broadband speeds and the smooth fulfilment of media heavy streaming services. It may be harder for some to remember 2G, which was introduced in 1991 on the Global System for Mobile Standard (you may recognise the more popular acronym, GSM). This network allowed download and upload speeds of up to 236 Kbps, and its benefits included the ability to send short text messages (SMSs) and even multimedia picture messages (MMSs). It operated on the digital network, meaning that devices used less power to transmit signals and hence prolonging general battery life. But 2nd Generation implies that there was another Generation preceding it, and indeed, in the 1980s, 1G was introduced. It operated on an analogue network, as contrasted from later Generations, and its main premise was the capability of transferring calling seamlessly from one area to the next as a person might, while travelling. Named ‘Cells’, these signal enabling areas set up the alternative name for mobile phones as ‘cell phones’. 

With 1G deployed in 1980s, 2G in the 90’s, 3G in the 2000’s and 4G in the late 2000’s, it seems that approximately every decade a new Generation of mobile networking technology is commercially released. And one might ask for what purpose? Essentially, to align with the growing productivity demands of populations increasingly using the Internet as a means to run businesses, day-to-day activities and leisure. 2.5G, the bridge connecting 2G on the way to its development into 3G, was an iteration of 2G technology, and provided data speeds of up to 100 Kbps, which was sufficient for web browsing and email messaging. It set up platform for the introduction of 3G, which allowed around 2000 Kbps, a figure twenty times bigger than 2.5G. More contextually, the release of 2G/3G accompanied the internet boom in the late 20th Century and early 21st, as people scrambled to embrace the possibilities and applications of the Internet. Hence faster communication, including the ability to obtain information from the Internet whilst on the move, enabled higher productivity.

4G, the technology which cities are predominantly utilising, describes an environment where bandwidth is much wider, allowing the usage of more devices (other than mobile phones) on the Internet. Your Apple Watch, smart TV, smart fridge and miscellaneous home appliances, now use the increased space on the 4G network to communicate data to your phone. Subsequently, your phone keeps you informed of whether, as an example, your baby is sleeping or awake, as alerted by the motion-detecting video camera sitting above her cot or if it is time to take your Kratom capsules and other medications via an app installed in your mobile device. Moreover, by increasing the speed and lowering the latency of channels transferring packets of data between devices, 4G enables more and more existing functions to be replaced by data usage. 

Have you noticed that mobile network operators are increasingly focussing on monthly ‘GB allowances’ as their key product feature? Some have even gone to providing unlimited GB usage for a set cost each month, as was trialled by an Australian telecommunications carrier, Optus, recently. More indirectly though, many have released ‘unlimited GB’ offerings in the form of video streaming, where telecommunication carriers allow devices or SIM cards purchased on plans to stream media services such as Netflix and Foxtel as much as the user wants on their phone. Traditional phone calling through the usage of a mobile service number is also increasingly less preferred to the alternative of data calling, where applications such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp have inbuilt video and voice calling functions. 

So 4G networks, which are to this day increasingly being developed to offer more seamless data transfers, operate between the 700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum. On this spectrum, it is a daily commonality to stream music, watch movies and participate in conference calls whilst on the mobile phone. Music offerings are already more popular on the streaming scene, where companies such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime have replaced the necessity to stock a physical library full of CDs. Browsing is a given, with Samsung even offering split screen functionalities on their phones to allow more information absorbing and internet comparison activities, and if you may have noticed, phone screens are being enlarged with each new model release. Increasingly, our usage of accessories necessitate the data-tracking and accumulating capabilities enabled by Internet connectivity, as you might when your Smart Watch tracks the route of your morning run and allows it to be reviewed on your computer. So this begs the question of what’s next?

The Internet of Things, which includes the smallest to the biggest spectrum of appliances which can be connected to the Internet, will be reason for the next generation of mobile network technology. It’s called 5G, perhaps unsurprisingly. Allowing for speed claims in the Gbps spectrum, this generation will enable high definition movies to not be streamed, but downloaded, in a matter of seconds, and will allow the simultaneous transfer of information between Internet of Things and control devices. Whilst 4G already offered real time data transfer, think of the huge demand for data monitoring in the world today. From self-driving cars, drone technology, thermostats, sensors and robot development, the future path of technological development will be reliant on the heightened frequency of 5G networks to allow essentially no delay between a device and a server it’s trying to communicate to. And with the closing of the decade, the next generation in 5G is expected to launch in 2020.

The rise of the digital era has resulted in an incredible amount of (somewhat inevitable) interest and investment in modern marvels like digitalisation and technological advancement. We are seeing these modern marvels play out all around us in ways that are shifting the focus more steadily towards a digitally inclined future in just about every aspect of life as we know it. The more prominent digitalisation and technological advancement become, the more innovative and responsive we become in our ongoing quest to continue shifting towards that digital future. These days we are so heavily invested in these modern marvels that, quite simply, there is no going back to before this was the norm. Think of the internet, for instance. This is a simple yet highly efficient innovation that has been going from one strength onto the next for years now. We are more interested and invested in the evolution of the internet than we have ever been - and we only continue to become more so all the time.

For this reason (and many others), advancements and enhancements in ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) internet technology have become more and more important all the time. This is especially true in recent years. As we have become more and more dependent on the internet, it goes without saying that we have been inputting more and more personal and otherwise sensitive data into the online landscape that is the worldwide web. Whether it is simply searching for more sustainably sourced bottled rainwater online or doing your entire job online, the point is always the same. That point is that the more time that an individual spends online, the more personal data is entered into the online landscape. This is what happens when an individual spends time online. There is no getting around it. So, it becomes more and more important all the time to do everything in one’s power to protect and preserve one’s data online.

The protection and preservation of data becomes more and more important all the time, functioning and thriving in alignment with the rising prominence and popularity of the worldwide web. And this is exactly how, where, and why ICANN comes into play. Designed and intended to work towards the stabilisation of the privacy and security of the websites and web pages that make up the fabric of the worldwide web, ICANN essentially and successfully works its magic by functioning and thriving as the not-for-profit public organisation that is wholeheartedly dedicated to making the online world a better and safer place. ICANN has been in effect for quite some time now, however the ongoing advancements and enhancements are doing a world of good in effectively getting the internet technology to continue getting bolder and smarter all the time. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, if you can believe it. The best and brightest of ICANN is yet to come.

All in all, ICANN is dedicated to the security and stability of the internet. This is its primary mission. To this end, ICANN has more than proven its value time and again over the years. In recent years, the innovation and overall power of ICANN has become better and better all the time, to the point that this is arguably the best and most effective form of online protection and preservation out there. The fact that this is an internet technology that is not built for profit makes it even better, owing to the fact that it is just continuing to gain traction more and more all the time. ICANN internet technology is transforming the way that we interact and act online in the best and brightest of ways. Best of all is the fact that this is just the start. There is a whole lot more where all this came from which is exactly why ongoing interest and investment in ICANN is so instrumental and so popular. 

The digital era is well and truly here. We are immersed in and surrounded by great feats of digitalisation and technological advancement, the likes of which are steadily becoming more popular and more prominent all the time. Today, practically every aspect of life as we know it is shifting dramatically to modernise into a digital future. At the centre of all this innovation and evolution comes the distinct realisation that we are gravitating more towards inventions like the worldwide web that make life so much better and easier for us all. For this reason (and so many others), innovations like ICANN internet technology are not only more prominent than they have ever been, but they are also more necessary than ever. The ever-evolving role of ICANN internet technology just keeps on getting better and better all the time. This is just the start for ICANN and its role as an instrumental innovation that is revolutionising the world as we know it for the better.