What is 5G? Behind the Mobile Network of The Future
In this episode, we’re taking a look at what 5G is, why it’s better than 4G, and which companies are leading the 5G charge.
5G is a new cellular wireless standard that promises to bring faster internet speeds to mobile devices, and bring more services to market.
But what is 5G?
The term stands for the fifth-generation standard, or 5G, for mobile telecommunications. 5G uses a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum, called millimeter wave, that allows data to be transferred much faster than the lower-frequency band dedicated to 4G.
One of the key benefits from this new wireless standard is that 5G speeds will be up 100 times faster than 4G, and it will help create new services and technologies that wouldn’t be possible without it.
For example, the vast Internet of Things industry will need faster and more reliable networks to bring about driverless cars, industrial automation, and connected smart cities, which are all in their infant stages right now.
Some estimates put the total amount of worldwide Internet of Things devices at 75 billion by 2025.
But before we get there, wireless carriers need to build out massive 5G networks. Thankfully, many of them have already started taking steps to get there.
Verizon has the goal of launching 5G in 30 cities by the end of the year, and has already flipped the 5G switch in several large metro areas.
The company has a lot of incentive to get 5G up and running as fast as possible, considering the new wireless standard’s massive potential.
The CEO of Verizon’s consumer division has said that “By 2035, 5G will enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output and support 22 million jobs worldwide.”
But Verizon isn’t the only U.S. carrier that’s betting on 5G. AT&T has already launched 5G services in a handful of cities and plans to bring 5G to 21 markets by the end of 2019.
But even if carriers were able to turn on 5G nationwide tomorrow, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. That’s because right now there are only a handful of 5G phones available.
Make no mistake, 5G is just around the corner for U.S. consumers. But between network build-outs and the slow release of 5G devices, most of us won’t have access to it until later next year, at the earliest.
While the U.S. is closer to 5G than ever before, China is also making big moves towards 5G as well.
The U.S. and China view 5G as a potential technology battle ground, with both countries working to become the undisputed leader for the new wireless standard.
By the end of 2019, China will have about 150,000 5G cellular sites up and running, while the U.S. will have just a fraction of that.
One of the reasons China will be able to expand its 5G coverage so quickly is because the Chinese government is making a top priority.
China’s government and wireless carriers are all working together to get 5G up and running. If it succeeds, China will have more 5G users than any other country by the end of 2020.
The bottom line is that 5G is almost here and it’ll be a giant step forward for Internet-connected devices. Consumers will reap the benefits of 5G by having lighting-fast mobile Internet, and companies will benefit by offering more connected services than ever before.
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