Lately you cannot seem to avoid stories and speculations on just about every news channel, blog, website, and Twitter page talking about how amazing 5G is going to be. And while it will without a doubt, be amazing, there’s more to 5G than just blazing fast internet speed. This latest version of wireless connectivity has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with the world around us. To help understand all the cool new things we can do with 5G, let’s first understand what it is and how it compares to 4G.
What is 5G and how is it different from 4G? The G in 5G stands for generation. This means 5G is the fifth generation in the history of wireless connectivity. As wireless continues to evolve into later generations, it becomes faster, stronger, and more reliable. What makes 5G so different from 4G isn’t just the fact that it is faster, but that is has a much greater potential for managing large scale device connectivity. You see, 4G technology was really all about making mobile internet faster and more reliable. 4G enabled advancements in the mobile space such as video calling and conferencing over LTE and helped to bring many applications such as Snapchat, Uber, and Lyft into existence. These applications and services require large amounts of reliable mobile data that really didn’t exist with 3G. While 4G is not leaving us anytime soon, it has its limitations and isn’t designed to really connect all the new devices in our rapidly evolving IoT heavy lifestyles. This is where 5G really shines. Check out the graphic below from Visual Capitalist to get a glimpse into the landscape of 5G.
Why 5G is so exciting? Now by this point you’re probably thinking, okay, we get that it will be faster and more reliable but why are we constantly talking about it? The answer is IoT! 5G technology is going to be able to bring together all of these amazing connected devices we have in our lives today. From smart thermostats, connected cars, and voice assistants, to artificial intelligence and smart homes, 5G is the key to bringing it all together. This is because this latest generation in wireless connectivity is currently unmatched in its ability to move more data, be more responsive, and handle large ecosystems of connected technologies. If you’re thinking 5G really is the next best thing, you’re right, but you’re also going to have to wait a while to try it for yourself.
Why the Delay in 5G? As excited as we all are for this next generation of wireless connectivity to be available, it is going to take some time to deploy on a large scale. The ultimate goal is for 5G is to eventually be available everywhere, even in your home. But, because 5G is new, the infrastructure required to deploy this technology isn’t entirely ready yet. Right now Network Operators are working on building and deploying cell towers and transmitters to bring the service to you, but many industry experts estimate that 5G won’t be widespread until late 2020. In the meantime, there are a few cities in which 5G is already deployed and delivering blazing fast connectivity. Check out this chart by PCMag to see if there is a 5G location near you.