The standard in mobile phone service today is 4G, with some people around the world still making calls on 3G and 2G networks. While 4G coverage is still not absolute, the time is coming when 5G will be the best mobile technology available. Tested connection speeds have reached one terabyte per second (1 Tbps), though that top end is not likely to be reproduced outside of controlled conditions. It does illustrate the potential of 5G service, and why so many people are eager to implement this budding technology.
Pros and Cons of 5G Coverage
Not all people are looking forward to this change. Since 4G is a relatively new service in the fast paced world of mobile phones, opponents believe we should spend time optimizing the coverage range and taking advantage of the speeds and technology currently available. The costs of developing the technology, ensuring wide coverage, and creating the devices optimized to use it seem oppressive in the near future, as 4G has barely been maximized by the average consumer.
However, technology lovers and early adapters have been pushing the envelope on 4G capabilities, and believe that the time for 5G has come. Technology advances at a rapid rate, and no one can predict what the next decade will bring. By 2020, an estimated four billion mobile phones will be in use, and existing coverage may simply not be enough to handle the load. With the invention of new devices all of the time, we will need better service to meet their requirements and adapt to the new mobile landscape.
New Technology Spurs 5G Forward
Vodaphone is already laying the groundwork for its 5G network, with the ultimate goal of Machine to Machine (M2M) connectivity. Their sights are set on connecting autonomous vehicles, rather than bouncing signals from the car to a station and down to the next car. This has a host of practical applications, from surgeries performed by robotic hands to household appliances that turn on when your car is pulling into the driveway. Entire smart cities could be possible with 5G technology, and customers could enjoy a world that is completely connected by an Internet of Things (IoT).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has developed a plan for the implementation of 5G service by 2020. This IMT-2020 plan has laid out the overall goals and timeline for 5G development, paving the way for developing the performance requirements needed to bring 5G service to a worldwide audience. Since mobile service can be more easily spread throughout the developing world that land lines, 5G has the potential to unify the world with its coverage area.
5G is for More Than Just Mobile Phones
When the average person is discussing their current 3G or 4G service, they are most likely talking about their mobile coverage area and quality. With the advent of 5G service fast approaching, we will all have to speak a new technological language. 5G is going to be far more flexible than previous mobile services, as the 5G NORMA Project (Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture) envisions 5G as an adaptive network that will easily work with current and future applications. This means that 5G service will have a fluid responsiveness that integrates existing network architectures, making productivity and energy use very efficient.
5G will have the coverage and flexibility of Wi-Fi with the powerful connectivity and technology of mobile service. This multi-technology network will facilitate Machine to Machine connections, allowing devices to communicate with other devices within range. As the technology develops, there could come a time where every device within your home is a mobile device, as they will all be connected by the 5G network.
While it seems like the potential for 5G service lies far in the future, a possible start date of 2020 is not that far away. It may be difficult to imagine now, but this advanced mobile service could change the way we think of mobile devices, and how we communicate with each other and the world around us. High speed service can make us truly connected to the world, even in areas that have previously been difficult to reach by existing communications technology. 5G service may bring a new cultural shift, and it may be coming sooner than you think.