Everything You Need to Know About 5G, IEEE Spectrum

Ready For Ultra-Fast Internet Connections?

What Is 5g and How It Will Change Things

October 19, 2017, Bruno Jacobsen

The American multinational company Qualcomm just claimed the first 5G mobile net connection. Although experts only predict 5G to become widely available in a couple of years, it is guaranteed to give us faster speeds and to become the driving technology behind the Internet of Things.

According to Qualcomm, the first use case of its 5G chip, the Snapdragon X50 R, was a major milestone. They expect it to be able to deliver 5Gbps speeds on our smartphones. This means you’d be able to download an HD movie almost instantaneously.

What is 5G? The truth is, there aren’t really any well-defined standards, and different companies and countries are taking different approaches. 1G brought us cellular communication, 2G brought us text messages and other services, 3G brought us internet connection, and the latest 4G brought us the ability to seamlessly stream video online and exchange other types of media, like when you watch a video on your Facebook feed. 5G is expected to allow for new technologies to really take off, such as VR and IoT, due to its low latency and massive capacity.

But even if it’s not clear how it will come about (one option is by tapping into millimetre waves), there are a few requirements that it should meet, such as very low latency compared to LTE, the ability to have several hundreds of thousands of connections for wireless sensors, improved coverage, and, of course, extremely fast speeds even when in very crowded areas, like football stadiums or major events.

According to some analysts, the technology could be already available by 2019 or 2020. By 2023, more than 1 billion people might be connected to it, with more than half coming from China, a nation betting heavily in technology development. Other countries in the race towards 5G adoption include South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

But despite it probably still taking some time to fully roll out, it will certainly have a major impact on our lives. It will also generate a range of new business opportunities, from better automation in certain industries to platforms around connected devices. And now it's the right time to start seizing some of these opportunities, or run the risk of being left behind.

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