You may have seen more and more about 5G in the tech and mobile news. The next generation of mobile wireless technology seems to be at our doorsteps. To prepare you for the inevitable rollout of 5G, we look at some of the most important things you need to know about this soon-to-be standard mobile technology.
Here are some important facts and basics you need to know about 5G.
What is 5G?
The “G” in 5G (and 1-4G) stands for generation. That means that 5G will be the fifth generation of mobile wireless technology. Each new generation has changed the mobile market forever by advancing the wireless technology that drives the industry. 1G and 2G supported text messages for the first time. 3G introduced browsing on mobile devices for the first time, which technology was massively upgraded with the roll-out of 4G.
This next generation of wireless aims to replace its predecessors 4G and 3G. 5G aims to achieve high data transfer rate, be more energy efficient and saving, be less costly, reduce latency (how long it takes for demands to be recognised) from 60 milliseconds to 1 millisecond, etc. Basically, 5G is fast. Very, very fast. This means that you’d be able to download and upload things online at much higher faster rates than you currently can. You’ll also be able to connect and interact with your connected environment, thanks to this new wireless technology.
How will 5G Change the World?
You might think I’m dramatic by saying that this next generation of wireless technology will change the world, but it will, just like 1-4G did.
One of the main things 5G will change is the speed at which we perform tasks online. Thanks to faster connectivity and higher speeds, we’ll be able to do everything at a quicker pace than we currently can. This could mean a better turnover for businesses who might be able to, for instance, fill orders faster.
This next generation of wireless technology could open up a whole new world of possibilities for anything that’s connected to the internet. For starters, mobile phones will become faster and more powerful than ever. Beyond that, we can look at the IoT (internet of things) and how the whole world around us may become connected and our entire environments will be powered by this next generation of wireless technology. Imagine walking into a clothing store where your shopping experience is personalized thanks to data being collected from your mobile phone, with all of this being powered by this next generation of wireless technology. The same exciting possibilities apply to driverless cars. If this next generation of wireless technology increases connectivity and decreases latency, then it could improve the performance of driverless cars too. Driverless cars (in simple terms) function by collecting data about their surroundings using a lot of sensors. With 5G being able to increase the pace at which tasks can be performed by decreasing latency, it most certainly will assist in driving the technology for driverless cars, forward.
When will the Technology Become Available?
Two mobile service providers in South Korea (SK Telecom and Korea Telecom) are trying to be the firsts to bring 5G networks to the mass mobile market. Mobile service providers in other countries like China, Japan, and the United States of America are also racing towards 5G.
South African mobile service provider, Vodacom has stated that its 5G technology is commercially ready. The service provider claims to be waiting on “the right spectrum and the first 5G capable mobile devices to become available“.
It’s expected that by 2020, 5G technology will be widely available in most countries across the world. This means that next year will probably be a very exciting year for 5G and we will see it being adopted and roll-out more and more.
It’s unsure whether current devices will be able to use this technology, so you might need to invest in a new 5G-enabled device if you’d like to take advantage of it when it starts to become available.
There are currently no mobile phones that officially support this next generation of wireless technology. Companies like Qualcomm, Motorola, and Verizon have only shown off some demonstrations of what they have planned for the future, but no official releases or announcements have been made yet.
Are you excited about this next generation of wireless technology? Let us know below what your thoughts are on this new technology.