In the technology world, it is vital to keep looking forward even while many other people are happy keeping firmly in the present. For example, many of us are perfectly content with 4G mobile connectivity in our mobile devices – but there remains plenty of reason to look forward to the in-development next standard, 5G. So, when will it become the straightforward choice of mobile connectivity technology?
5G should be with us by 2020… surely?
Before we do our best to answer that question, you may be wondering: why should we be so eagerly anticipating 5G anyway? Earlier this year, CTN put together a video feature detailing many of the major leap forwards that the technology will enable – click play below to watch it.
Perhaps the most commonly expected timescale for the arrival of 5G is that reported by CTN: the first wireless networks using the technology will be in place by 2020. This theory is certainly strengthened in credibility thanks to its support by mobile big players AT&T and Nokia. Furthermore, it would be in-keeping with the rate – roughly every decade – that a new mobile generation has been introduced since the first 1G system debuted in 1981. Still, there are good reasons to disagree with the theory…
But wait! It could be earlier… or later
Last month, major mobile carrier Verizon announced its intention to start conducting field technology trials of 5G next year, with assistance from various partner companies – Cisco, Nokia and Samsung included – it met with at the Verizon 5G Technology Forum the month before.
Furthermore, in the same month, the European Commission and China put pen to paper for a deal to work together on developing 5G networks. However, as noted by CNET, their targeted 2020 date for commercial availability of 5G could prove too difficult for some countries and carriers to meet, due to their lingering struggles with the predecessor 4G technology.
It’s still not too early to get excited…
Whenever the technology does become widely available, it’s already easy to imagine many of the ways in which it could be applied. For example, downloading movies could take seconds rather than minutes, gorgeous 4K video messages could be speedily accessed on the move, and – as CTN have made clear – it could be hugely valuable for use in electric cars.
Conveniently, the widely expected date of public launch for 5G is around the time when Apple should be at least unveiling its long-awaited first electric car. Could Apple find itself once again – to use a fitting metaphor – in the driving seat?