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5G Moves Forward With Early Trials

5G will represent a quantum leap beyond 4G networks in terms of speed, efficiency, and total capacity.

5G is the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the LTE/4G mobile networks of today. Although 5G is currently only in the planning stages, 5G will represent a quantum leap beyond 4G networks in terms of speed, efficiency, and total capacity. Do we really need 5G? After all, the current 4G networks work just fine for phone calls and streaming video to your phone or tablet when Wi-Fi isn’t available.

However, as Figure 1 shows, faster speeds and more bandwidth are required for all the new wireless technology that is on the way, and a connected, seamless society. For example, 5G will be necessary for additional automation in cars and later on for driverless cars to successfully communicate with infrastructure and the Cloud, where the car can get traffic information, accident warnings, and reliable Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware updates. According to Cisco, “Global Internet traffic in 2020 will be equivalent to 95 times the volume of the entire global Internet in 2005. Globally, Internet traffic will reach 21GB per capita by 2020, up from 7GB per capita in 2015. Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2020.” And by 2020, video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer traffic.

5G Moves
Figure 1: 5G will enable new insights that will drive efficiencies as well as enable us to monetize data. (Source: Intel)

Fifth generation wireless is supposed to be 10 times faster than 4G at 5Gbps, provide the needed to bandwidth for a rapidly growing number of connected devices, and be so pervasive that devices will remain connected as they transfer from point to point. With all of this traffic, 5G is meant to enable critical traffic sent to and from connected platforms such as automated functions in cars, infrastructure, and all the other things that will make up our “smart cities.” By 2020, the details of 5G may be worked out, but judging by the 4G roll-out, it will take at least ten years before the infrastructure to support 5G is fully implemented. However, 5G may be available in certain cities or areas within cities in the early 2020s.

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