It took a while, but the switch to 5G has finally been flipped in the U.S. – at least in selected cities it’s now possible to buy 5G phones and take advantage of faster speeds.
However, the potential of the fifth generation of wireless communication standards has still not been realized. As of this writing, there are currently three 5G-capable smartphones on the market: Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, LG’s V50 ThinQ 5G and the Moto Z3 for Verizon with 5G Moto Mod.While some of the 5G phones are now cracking the 1 Gbps barrier of download speeds, it’s expected that future 5G networks will hit a peak of 10 Gbps, which will be fast enough to download a full-length movie in seconds.
Besides fast phones, the future of networking is about to change in other ways as well. 5G’s Lower latency will make augmented reality and virtual reality more useful — and eliminate nausea — because there won’t be any lag. AR glasses and VR headsets haven’t yet cracked the mainstream, but tech companies are betting that these devices will eventually replace our smartphones.
Virtual and augmented reality transformations due to 5G is also expected to have a significant impact on education. 5G could transform schools by enabling virtual- and augmented-reality experiences that will bring concepts out of textbooks and into real life for kids in classrooms.
Faster connectivity and no latency could also revolutionize hospitals, enabling holograph-assisted surgeries.
5G should also make autonomous cars safer because communication between vehicles and infrastructure will become instantaneous.
One big difference between the jump from 4G to 5G is that the two networks will continue to coexist. This has not been the case in past networking upgrades starting with 2G to 3G.
What this means is that when your 5G device drops a 5G signal, it will fall back on 4G LTE with an imperceptible hand-off. This is particularly important in areas of the country (especially more rural areas) where it will take longer for 5G networks to get up and going.
It’s also being reported that the improvements the four carriers are making to the networks during the national 5G rollout is making 4G LTE better. In some testing, LTE download speeds are as much as six times faster over past clockings before the rollout.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers 5G Wireless Crash Course, a 4-day class that covers all aspects of 5G wireless vision, concepts, application, use cases, technologies and standards.