The superfast “fifth generation " mobile internet could be launched as early as next year in some countries, promising download speeds that are 10 to 20 times faster than we have now.
Qualcomm and other telecommunication companies are preparing for the launch of the 5G.
In the 1990s, the 'second generation' (2G) mobile phone systems emerged, primarily using the GSM standard. Following the shortcomings of 2G, the industry presented the next generation of technology know as 3G. The high connection speeds of 3G enabled a transformation in the industry, as for the first time, media streaming of radio and even television content to 3G handsets became possible. In the mid 2000s an evolution of 3G technology begun to be implemented, namely High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). It is an enhanced 3G mobile telephony communications protocol in the High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family.
Consequently, the industry began looking to data-optimized 4G technologies, with the promise of speed improvements up to 10-fold over existing 3G technologies. It is basically the extension in the 3G technology with more bandwidth and services offered in the 3G. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard and the LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera.
OpenSignal’s global report that examines the 3G and 4G speed and coverage in various countries tells us that South Korea leads the world by a notable margin, clocking in at 37.5 Mbps. Singapore and Hungary follow with 31 Mpbs and 26 Mpbs respectively. Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Japan are among the top 10 in the overall internet speed measurement.
“Whatever we do now with our smartphones we'll be able to do faster and better," says Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company on the 5G. The 5G will be the next step in mobile internet technology. Many think that 5G will aid autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read live map and traffic data. The fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45Mbps on average, although the industry is still hopeful of achieving 1Gbps with the 5G.
Most countries are unlikely to launch 5G services before 2020. However, Qatar's Ooredoo says it has already launch a commercial service and South Korea is aiming to launch next year. China will also join the race to launch services in 2019.
With the launch of the new 5G internet, users will have to get handsets that are compatible. However, phone makers are expected to launch 5G handsets only when the new networks are ready. This will ensure that the new generation phones are able to switch seamlessly between 4G and 5G networks for a more stable service.
Spain’s 5G spectrum auction has already raised more than EUR 402 million after four days of bidding. The Spanish government is auctioning spectrum in the 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz range, which will be key for the launch of 5G services in the European country. Spain’s mobile carriers are bidding for a total of 200 megahertz of spectrum, which will be sold under 20-year licenses for lots of 5 megahertz at a minimum price of EUR 2.5 million each.
Similarly, the Belgian government is planning an auction of mobile frequencies for late 2019. This will be carried forward with the aim of encouraging the entry of a fourth mobile carrier to compete with Proximus, Orange Belgium and Telenet’s BASE.
The Indian government has set a commercial rollout target for consumers by 2020 with the telecom department poised to unveil its 5G technology roadmap later this year. Qualcomm said that India is going to be a “fast follower” of the 5G technology, however, the 4G feature phone will continue to see good growth in the country.
The CEO of Verizon, an American telecommunication company has named Houston as the third of four cities that'll get 5G first, along with Sacramento and Los Angeles. Verizon plans to start rolling out its fixed 5G broadband service in the fourth quarter of 2018 and into early 2019.
Chipmaker Qualcomm has solved a huge problem for a certain variation of 5G ahead of its launch. On Monday, Qualcomm unveiled its new QTM052 millimeter wave and QPM56xx sub-6GHz radio frequency antenna module families. They work alongside the company's Snapdragon X50 5G to bring superfast network speeds to smartphones.
The standards for the 5G protocol have not been shelled out yet. Though the higher-frequency bands have a lot of capacity, their shorter wavelengths mean their range is lower - they're more easily blocked by physical objects.
5G will primarily be an urban service for densely populated areas. It will not solve the problem of lack of signal and low data speeds in rural areas as it operates on high-frequency bands.
Our assessment is that the launch of 5G will revolutionize the methods of data consumption in this digital age. We feel that 5G will aid in sparking greater innovations in the allied industries. We believe that the launch of the 5G will unlock a new market for phone manufacturers. We also believe that the high frequency bands should have higher wavelengths to facilitate internet connection in rural areas.