5G Networks are rolling out across the United States, but the technology revolution envisioned around the new global wireless standard has just begun. For starters, much like the move from 3G to 4G which started in 2008, consumers will need a new device to take advantage of 5G service. Right on cue, Apple announced the impending release of its first 5G-compatible line, the iPhone 12.
5G, which stands for fifth generation, is more than a better mobile broadband experience, it is the network of the future that aims to connect virtually everyone to everything including devices, machines, and objects.
In the coming years 5G networks and 5G-enabled devices should result in new user experiences and connect new industries.
Almost 2 Billion 5G Connections by 2025
The report estimates there will be 1.8 billion 5G connections by 2025 with 50 percent adoption in developed Asia and 48 percent in North America.
Some areas of the world, such as North America and developed Asia, will see a rapid embrace of 5G technology according the GSMA “2020 The Mobile Economy” report.
Other areas will lag with just seven percent of Latin America and three percent of Sub-Saharan Africa connected to 5G within the next five years. According to the GSA “5G Market Snapshot August 2020” there are now 92 commercial 5G networks in 38 countries.
That number will be expanding as the same report said that by the end of July, 392 operators in 126 countries/territories had announced they were investing in 5G.
History Lesson: 1G to 5G
You can not run before you learn to walk and in wireless technology you can not get to the Internet of Things (IoT) without “the brick”, America’s first mobile phone that looked, and weighed as much, as a brick!
Here is a look at the evolution from 1G to 5G:
- 1G: First launched in 1979 by NTT in Tokyo, 1G did not hit the United States until the mid-80s with the release of Motorola’s DynaTAC. The phone cost nearly $10,000 in 2020 dollars, weighed almost two pounds, had no encryption, poor battery life and was analog-only.
- 2G: Launched in 1991 in Finland. Texting was born with Nokia releasing a device that could send and receive SMS messages. 2G could also send picture messages and other MMS. Calls were encrypted and digital with better audio quality.
- 3G: Launched by NTT DoCoMo in 2001 in Japan, 3G allowed the jump to video calls and internet browsing with speeds approaching 2 Mbps when not moving. 3G helped usher in Skype and Blackberry devices. By Apple’s launch of the first iPhone in 2007, it was time for new technology.
- 4G: Released in 2008 in Scandinavia, 4G with speeds up to 100 Mbps while moving and 1 Gbps while stationary, allowed users to utilize high-speed applications on their phones such as video streaming, gaming, and video conferencing. Unlike the switch from 2G to 3G, which required SIM card swaps, new devices were needed for 4G.
- 5G: South Korea lays claim to first widespread launch of 5G in 2019 and by July 2020 11.3 percent of the country’s 70 million mobile subscribers were on 5G networks, the highest penetration of any country in the world. The seeds of 5G date back to the 1990s and a future network where data would move away from servers and into edge devices such as Wi-Fi enabled appliances and cars.
Benefits of 5G Technology
5G has many advantages over the current 4G standard, including:
- Higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds delivering up to 20 Gbps and 100+ Mbps average rates.
- Ultra-low latency – a 10x decrease in end-to-end latency down to 1ms
- More reliability
- Massive network capacity – 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency
- Increased availability
When 5G gets widely deployed we should see AI and virtual reality advances.
In addition to a better mobile broadband experience, where average mobile speeds are expected to double by 2023, 5G will also connect the growing IoT universe and allow for new mission-critical communications. Contact PS Lightwave today to see how a high-speed Internet network can help your organization be prepared for the 5G revolution.
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