There’s currently no such thing as a 5G mobile device in a store, a 5G network (outside of early trials by the telcos) and even the standard itself hasn’t been fully ratified yet by the International Telecommunication Union. However, the hype behind 5G is steadily growing.
For those of us happy with our 4G networks, there might not be much of a feel that we need to rush to 5G, but the mobile industry is going all steam ahead. That’s because it needs the bandwidth of 5G to cope with all these billions of IoT devices that are coming on-stream.
It also needs to cope with all the HD streaming to smart-enabled cars with screens on the dash and in front of passengers. Those same automobiles will also share large amounts of data with the car maker, driver insurer, garage and so on.
What could improve?
5G is also designed to overcome some of 4G’s shortcomings with greater range, better indoor coverage and so on. Those still kicking around the backwaters of a 3G (or even worse GPRS) signal will also benefit. But not until 2020 or later when the technology finally comes on stream.
Alongside better quality video with fewer dropouts, 5G will enable new generations of augmented reality features for consumers, it will help businesses manage their data gathering and expand coverage to less connected areas in many countries.
All of this requires massive investment, so expect those first 5G devices to come at a little extra cost to help soften the blow for the telcos, as early adopters pay to enjoy the brave new world.
Just out of interest, does anyone else think it is odd that the new 3GPP’s 5G logo only has three stripes? Or that they still call themselves 3GPP (third generation partnership project) when the future is clearly 5G?
Photo credit: ITU/ V. Arce
Source: Rob van der Meulen (Gartner) / ITU
Editorial notice: Photo was taken at an ITU conference.