5G: The Future is Closer Than You Think
As 2017 was wrapping up the major players in the telecommunications industry were finalizing their plans for the first 5G standard. This is exciting for everyone, the expanded capabilities will allow for boundless growth in technology. 5G will allow for faster communication not only between our mobile devices but all machinery. This will allow scientists and engineers to push the boundaries of what we thought machines were capable of doing.
What’s The Difference Between 5G and the Other Generations?
As many people know, the number before the G merely refers to the generation of technology being referred to. There are many ways to define the differences between each generation. Most people simply use transmission speed as an easy measure. However, one can also differentiate them by ways they are encoded and transmitted.
1G was the analog technology of 1980’s.
2G marked the time when radio waves began to be transmitted digitally.
We transferred to 3G when the speeds we were transmitting data on increased considerably. This is also the time when most modern smartphones were launched.
4G LTE was the most recent iteration and it further increased data speeds and allowed us to use the new smartphone technology to its fullest potential. Because of 4G, we were able to carry small computers that accessed an extremely fast network. 4G LTE will continue to see evolutions (LTE stands for Long Term Evolution) even after 5G is released.
5G will bring a few new improvements to the table. First and foremost, more speed. As we always expect and want our data will be even faster on the 5G networks. Secondly, it will have less lag time as it transmits data between devices. This is different from data speed in that it affects how machines talk to each other more than it affects upload and download speeds. Finally, it will allow for devices to connect to more devices at once. This more efficient machine to machine communication will allow your devices to pair with more devices such as smart TVs, laptops, tablets, and sensors.
When Can You Expect 5G?
AT&T and Verizon, with their more established infrastructure, believe they can begin to implement 5G by the end of this year. They won’t be offering any 5G smartphones until 2019, however, AT&T has described the device they will be launching later this year as a “puck”. This has lead many to speculate it will be a kind of hotspot device and enable users to connect to the 5G network. Verizon will be entering the 5G market not with phone’s first either. They plan on offering a 5G home internet package to compete with local internet providers. It has been speculated that it will work similar to hotspot Wi-Fi however because of the increased efficiency of 5G it will be much cheaper to offer than 4G hotspots currently are.
T-Mobile has said that they are taking a more conservative approach. They plan on offering limited 5G services starting in 2019 with a nationwide service launching in 2020.
Sprint has spoken the least about their 5G plans however they have said that they plan to launch a 5G service in 2019 similarly to T-Mobile.
Interestingly enough the Department of Defense actually called for the construction of a federal nationwide 5G network similar to how the highway system was implemented for defensive purposes. This was quickly denied by the FCC though as they stated they would prefer to keep the network privately owned.
No matter who your carrier is it is exciting to know that the next generation of mobile technology is just around the corner.