Right now, the fastest mobile phone internet speed you can get is 4G. By 2020, 5G technology is expected to launch worldwide. Cell phone companies currently operate on 3G or 4G networks. These existing systems are expected to operate alongside 5G whose fast connections will average download speeds of 1GBps. Connectivity will continue to flourish as the Internet of Things (IoT) receives the infrastructure it needs to carry large volumes of data across connections. To get an idea of what to expect with 5G technology and its descendants, I’ve compiled the top five things you need to know.
1 GBps is incredibly fast
4G technology currently averages 19.42 Mbps. 5G is a class all its own with an additional 980.58 Mbps. In essence, this is like having Google Fiber’s top service running your mobile phone connectivity. If that seems mindblowing, consider that Snapdragon X50, Qualcomm’s 5G modem, allows for up to five gigabytes per second. Five! That’s 257 times higher than what you currently experience.
The capacity potential is huge
A result of faster download speeds is the ability to support more data. Current networks only allow for a certain number of users before you begin to experience connectivity issues. Think about the last time you were at a large event and your phone wouldn’t work even though it showed full signal. This was likely because the system was overloaded. But with 5G, that won’t be as much of a concern. In fact, the International Telecommunications Union said that 5G is expected to handle a million devices per square kilometer.
It is still a work in progress
5G connections are not expected to be consumer-ready until 2020, and even after it is released, there will be issues that must be worked out. Just like when any new tech is introduced, it will be sometime before it is reliable. Some companies have committed to releasing in 2019. Expect the work to continue on it for a year or two while 5G is fine-tuned for public consumption.
6G is a long way off, if ever
In April, the Academy of Finland funded 6Genesis, a research program that will span eight years and seek to consider how 6G might take place. The early estimates for a 6G network is that it will emerge around 2030, which means another 12 years before an upgrade. In fact, the study groups for this project will be exploring technology that doesn’t even exist yet.
Though 5G still seems like it is far off, we only have a few more months until 2019. If mobile phone services come through on their promise, and the connection is as expected, it is likely we will see a rush to adapt other networks to use 5G. Mobile companies are leading the way in advancing this technology, even though it can be used in a myriad of ways including at home and for television, so we anticipate they will be the first to release 5G technology. Keep watch of the news surrounding 5G with TechRadar’s 5G news compilation page.
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