5G on the horizon: here’s what it is and what’s coming

 In 5g, AT&T, Biz & IT, feature, feature report, Features, millimeter wave, Mobile, Qualcomm, t-mobile, verizon

5G on the horizon: here’s what it is and what’s coming

Serving the Technologist for more than a decade. IT news, reviews, and analysis.
Artist's impression of millimeter-wave 5G speeds.

Enlarge / Artist’s impression of millimeter-wave 5G speeds. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

The long-touted fifth generation of wireless communications is not magic. We’re sorry if unending hype over the world-changing possibilities of 5G has led you to expect otherwise. But the next generation in mobile broadband will still have to obey the current generation of the laws of physics that govern how far a signal can travel when sent in particular wavelengths of the radio spectrum and how much data it can carry.

For some of us, the results will yield the billions of bits per second in throughput that figure in many 5G sales pitches, going back to early specifications for this standard. For everybody else, 5G will more likely deliver a pleasant and appreciated upgrade rather than a bandwidth renaissance.

That doesn’t mean 5G won’t open up interesting possibilities in areas like home broadband and machine-to-machine connectivity. But in the form of wireless mobile device connectivity we know best, 5G marketing has been writing checks that actual 5G technology will have a lot of trouble cashing.

Read 47 remaining paragraphs | Comments

5G is many things—but the most interesting part is what it will eventually become.

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt