Although 5G is still in its infancy, with the telecom industry still carrying out trials and setting standards, widespread adoption may come sooner than many analysts expect. According to Ericsson’s recently released “Mobility Report”, a whopping 25% of mobile subscriptions in North America are expected to be 5G by 2022. Both Verizon and AT&T have gone on record saying that they plan to deliver 5G as soon as possible to domestic markets.
What is 5G?
5G, which stands for fifth-generation, is the set of standards for the next generation of mobile networks subsequent to the current 4G LTE technology now prevalent in mobile devices around the globe. Every new generation of wireless networks has delivered better speeds and more functionality for devices. 1G brought us the very first cell phones, 2G let us text for the first time, 3G brought us online, and 4G brought us the speeds and uses cases that we enjoy today. So how is 5G different? 5G is a combination of technologies including millimeter wave spectrum (spectrum which has never been used before for mobile), fiber
backhaul, and small cell networks which will together create a more efficient wireless network with more capacity and faster speeds. It should be able to handle 1000x the traffic at 10x the speed of today’s networks.
Use Cases for 5G
The implications of 5G technology will stretch well beyond the telecom business to a multitude of other sectors; including automotive, medical, industrial, agriculture and banking. Perhaps most importantly, 5G is expected to support the burgeoning Internet of Things market, comprising billions of connected devices. The Ericsson report estimated that there will be approximately 18 billion connected devices related to IoT by 2022, including cars, sensors, consumer electronics, wearables, machines, an
d much more. These devices will require low latency connectivity coupled with very high data throughput which is exactly the benefit 5G networks are expected to provide. 5G will theoretically load 4K or 8K high-resolution videos on mobile devices very quickly and enable AR/VR, or augmented reality and virtual reality, gaming. The possibilities truly are endless.
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