The super fast mobile transmission could be around the corner. Network providers around the world are already preparing to test 5G networks in 2018, with the first 5G smart phones to be launched early next year.
If everything goes according to plan, the idea is for 5G to provide us with equivalent broadband download speeds over mobile networks. That would mean that we would not have to wait for the videos or web pages to load anymore, and that it would be easier for things like cars without a driver to transfer large amounts of data very quickly. If you can get a mobile signal, of course.
In the United Kingdom, it has been confirmed that West Midlands will get £ 75 million in public funds to develop and test 5G in the region. Plans include the ability to transmit CCTV cameras on buses directly to the police, allowing them to respond more quickly to incidents.
Here is everything you need to know about the slow change to 5G.
What is different about 5G?
When they arrive, 5G networks will be able to handle more data and connect more devices simultaneously and do this at much faster speeds than is possible using existing technology. While current 4G download speeds reach a maximum of around 50 megabits per second, and actually tend to have much lower speeds, it has been shown that 5G networks operate at more than 100 times that speed.
In theory, this means that with a good 5G connection, you can stream a 4K video directly to your smartphone without any delay. 5G networks can also handle a large number of devices at once, which makes it especially useful for connecting many Internet of Things devices in smart buildings and cities.
Why is it much faster than 4G?
All of our existing mobile networks use radio waves, but 5G is faster because it uses bits of the electromagnetic spectrum that are not currently being used by other types of networks. New developments in receiver and transmitter technology allow 5G networks to communicate using very high and very low frequency waves that, until recently, it was impossible to use existing technology.
When will we get 5G?
At this time, there is no smart phone ready for 5G in the market, but Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and other 14 phone manufacturers have already announced that they are working with the chip maker Qualcomm to take out devices ready for 5G in 2019 .
Of course, a device prepared for 5G is not very good without a network to connect it. Fortunately, a wide variety of mobile device manufacturers, including Vodafone, Verizon and AT & T, are already testing 5G networks with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 50 modem. While some operators, such as AT & T, expect to develop full 5G networks by the end of 2018, others are taking a slower approach. Vodafone plans to start testing radio towers that transmit 4G and 5G before considering switching to full 5G networks. These dual towers have the advantage of offering the reliable range and coverage of 4G while adding the huge speed increases that come with 5G.
If we will really see 5G connections in 2019 it is another matter completely. We are likely to have 5G ready devices for some time before the network providers are ready to deploy broad coverage, so it may be some time before they actually connect to a 5G network in the real world.
What it’s taking so long?
Things in the mobile network world tend to move at a subglacial rate. The problem is that changing to a new network standard requires a lot of people, from the chip makers and devices that will be implementing the technology, to the network providers that will make sure that it works without problems, to agree the way that the technology will be delivered.
Recently, however, the pace has begun to increase. In December 2017, the organization that governs cellular standards, 3GPP, approved a universal standard, called 5G NR. This meant that after years of debate about how 5G would look in the real world, the industry finally came to a consensus on how it should be delivered. Now you just have to make it happen.