5G is almost here and it’s going to completely change the way we use technology. 5G networks are the next generation of cellular mobile communications, providing faster and more dependable connections than ever before.
To understand 5G networks better it is important to know what came before them. The first generation of mobile technology called 1G focused on voice, enabling things like being able to use your phone in a car. The second generation, 2G, introduced a shot-messaging layer some of which can still be seen in today’s texting. The third generation, 3G, provided the needed network speeds for smartphones. Finally, the fourth and current generation, 4G, lead to the connected devices and services that we all use.
In comparison, 5G is all about delivering technologies that will alter our life’s for the better through next-generation networks. The fastest 4G networks, can deliver peak download speeds of 300Mbit/s, while 5G promises to offer speeds between 1000 Mbit/s and 10000 Mbit/s. This means that you would be able to download a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds which normally takes about 10 minutes if you were using 4G.
This revolutionary invention is said to launch worldwide in 2020 and major cell phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are already promising to offer the service. However, to meet the deadline most of the significant issues in the standardization process will have to be fixed over the next two to three years. As of now universities, companies and nations are all contributing to the effort. In fact, The European Union and South Korea have signed a deal to work together on 5G development, having promised €700m and $1.5bn respectively in funding for local 5G projects. Meanwhile, the UK has invested £70m to build a 5G research facility, known as the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).
The launch of this would not only mean improved download speed, but also the creation of new applications using virtual and augmented reality. For example, you might see satellite navigation projected onto your car windshield, or targeted advertisements projected onto windows. Devices might also become better connected such as phones and refrigerators being linked to one another. Therefore, you could change the temperature of your refrigerator and turn it off and on using an app on your phone. Furthermore, this creation is pivotal in the development of complex applications and services like self driving cars. In fact, experts say that 5G is fundamental to them as they will need a constant, reliable connection. Industrial equipment would also benefit from 5G, allowing it to be controlled remotely which increases worker safety. Even though there is constant discussion about the impact 5G could have on the world, the technology is still in testing, so at any moment the capabilities could change. Nonetheless, major cell phone carriers are already preparing by acquiring access to the radio waves, fiber and small cells all needed to make the installation of 5G network equipment faster, bringing the technology to consumers sooner.