Mobile network generations, are they even that popular anymore? It used to be all the rage when 2G went to 3G, then 3G went to 4G LTE. Coming soon to the USA is the 5th generation of mobile networks, 5G, and the wireless industry is gearing up for deployment.
Numerous companies are working hard to develop and deploy, in full scale, 5G networks. Verizon, Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint just to name some main ones are creating network infrastructure, chips, and modems in the name of 5G.
5G will be faster and more efficient than 4G, data speeds are expected to hit 20GB/s and 1 millisecond latency according to Mirror. Also according to that same Mirror article, Samsung unveiled their 5G technologies they have so far as well as their 5G plans for the future.
Per Reuters, Verizon is planning to release 5G to 11 US cities by mid 2017. According to that article, Verizon is dubbing this as "pre-commerical services" for consumers. The 11 cities are as followed, per TechRepublic:
No Pittsburgh on that list, but oh well. According to the Reuters article mentioned above, AT&T plans to roll out 5G testing in Austin, TX this year.
Here is a video from Bloomberg of Deutsche Telekom's (T-Mobile's owner) CEO explaining 5G and DT's plans:
Intel and Qualcomm are for sure in this mix. The chip makers have been researching and developing 5G hardware and are already unveiling 5G tech. Qualcomm came through first with the unveiling of the Snapdragon X20 modem back in October of 2016. Intel unveiled their own 5G modem at CES 2017 called the XMM 7560, all this according to Engadget.
Qualcomm has also created a chip for smartphone use called the Snapdragon X50 according to Cnet. It's no question 5G is getting close, but it likely won't be fully deployed until 2018/2019. According to PC World, T-Mobile USA's Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray stated that 5G is simply not ready yet. The senior director of technical marketing for Qualcomm, Rasmus Hellberg, stated consumers will get an "elevated broadband experience in 2019".
It's very clear, with the rise of the Internet of Things and its inevitable takeover of our daily lives, that we need a reliable and fast network to handle it all. Business Insider predicts that by 2020 there will be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet, and most will be wireless. That prediction right there shows why we need mobile networks like what 5G is set to be. We need fast, efficient, and reliable wireless networks to handle all the data transfers, calls, and traffic that 34 billion plus devices can create.
Everyone should be excited about this, soon we'll have wireless Internet that is just as fast as hardwired Internet, and we'll be able to have more smart devices enter our daily lives and make life just a bit easier and entertaining. Consumers, business, and investors can and should all benefit from 5G deployment. The FCC will be a big winner from spectrum auctions when 5G starts widespread full deployment. 5G needs spectrum to operate, and it'll need a lot of it by 2019 to reach its goal and the FCC is going to make some serious cash auctioning it off. 5G won't be here tomorrow, but it will be here sooner rather than later.