There has been a lot of publicity recently surrounding 5G,the next generation of wireless technology for the world.But what is this technology and how might it change our lives?
5G stands for fifth generation,meaning the next step in the progression of technology to replace the current 4G system.4G was the replacement for 3G,which came after 2G,and so on.
These systems are wireless computer networks.
Earlier"G"systems were designed to improve mobile communication operations.Each new technology brought major improvements in speed and greatly increased network capacity.
The new 5G system promises more of the same.It is expected to permit more users to do more things—at a faster rate.Higher internet speeds and larger network capacity should result in better performance for device users connected to 5G.
However,technology experts say there is a major way that 5G is different than the earlier systems.It will move well beyond mobile network technology to affect many more devices and industries than other"G"versions.
When will it be available?
Before we can all use 5G,wireless companies and phone makers will have to complete and deploy a whole new system.New phones and communication equipment must be built.
American wireless companies have been preparing for the new system for some time.They have been creating new network equipment and buying broadcasting space to carry 5G signals.They have built new 5G antennas to serve American cities and towns.Wireless providers will invest at least$275 billion in 5G-related networks in the United States,the industry group CTIA reported.
The first U.S.launch of 5G is expected to happen sometime this year.Industry experts expect it will take a few more years to go nationwide.It will take even longer to reach rural areas.
China is expected to launch 5G sometime in 2020,while European nations are likely to build their systems more slowly over time.
In the United States,the first 5G-ready phones should be available in the first half of this year.The first 5G iPhone,however,is not expected until 2020.
4G phones will work on 5G networks,but not at 5G speeds.