10 Reasons to Get Excited About the Advent of 5G Wireless

1 - 10 Reasons to Get Excited About the Advent of 5G Wireless
2 -  It’s All About Speed
3 - 5G Will Provide Bandwidth for More Connections
4 - 5G Promises Less Latency, Broader Coverage
5 - Testing Is Going Well
6 - Future Internet of Things Growth Will Depend on 5G
7 - Self-Driving Cars Need 5G
8 - Verizon Prepares to Test 5G in 11 Markets
9 - AT&T to Test 5G in 2 Cities
10 - Sprint Says It's Looking Ahead to 5G
11- T-Mobile Boasts About 5G Speeds of 12Gbps
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10 Reasons to Get Excited About the Advent of 5G Wireless

The latest generation wireless protocol technology, better known as 5G, will make its presence felt in a big way later this year. Verizon announced Feb. 22 that it will start testing its 5G network in 11 metropolitan markets by the middle of the year. The field testing comes after successful lab testing, and puts 5G on its way to a broad rollout within the next few years. When 5G finally makes its way to mobile service provider networks around the United States, it will provide a number of benefits beyond enabling faster data downloads and internet connections: It will have a role in enabling safer and more reliable autonomous cars and connected car technologies and also support the growth of the internet of things.

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It’s All About Speed

Speed is arguably one of the more important 5G features. According to the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, which defines the technology’s requirements, 5G should be capable at a minimum of delivering speeds of 100Mbps in metropolitan areas and “tens of megabits per second” in smaller areas. Carrier tests have already achieved 1Gbps and faster.

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5G Will Provide Bandwidth for More Connections

5G also will offer far more bandwidth than existing 4G technology. In fact, the technology should allow for hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections through a cell site without any slowdown or latency problems.

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5G Promises Less Latency, Broader Coverage

Since 5G is designed to cover more people and boost speeds, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance is also requiring 5G-certified networks expand their coverage beyond 4G's current capability. Additionally, 5G is expected to offer latency of no greater than 10 milliseconds, a fraction of the current latency over 4G.

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Testing Is Going Well

Mobile industry reports indicates that 5G tests by Ericsson, Verizon, Huawei and others have gone well and met or exceeded expectations. In a statement Feb. 22, Samsung, which is also involved in testing, said 5G is making “tremendous progress” so far.

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Future Internet of Things Growth Will Depend on 5G

Beyond faster speeds for cellular connections, 5G is expected to accommodate the massive growth in internet of things over the coming years. Some industry sources say billions of connected devices will be installed in the coming years. They will need the network bandwidth and speed that 5G can provide.

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Self-Driving Cars Need 5G

As Google and others work on self-driving cars, 5G network operators are trying to get the infrastructure ready. With 5G, latency is dramatically reduced, which allows autonomous cars on the road to communicate and respond to changing traffic conditions far more quickly than a human might react. While self-driving car technology is being tested over 4G networks, 5G will make it a reality.

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Verizon Prepares to Test 5G in 11 Markets

Verizon is moving along quickly on its 5G technology. The company announced Feb. 22 its plans to ramp up field testing in 11 metro markets, including Washington, D.C. It’s partnering with Samsung and Ericsson and says so far that 5G testing is going as well as planned.

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AT&T to Test 5G in 2 Cities

AT&T is similarly working on testing its 5G network in the United States this year, announcing it will be bringing its testing to two cities. In addition, the company has said it’s using 5G to stream DirecTV Now, a video-streaming service it started after it acquired DirecTV in 2015. AT&T hopes to expand its testing to more markets later in the year.

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Sprint Says It's Looking Ahead to 5G

Sprint is also thinking about how it fits into the 5G mold. In a statement in June, the company said it’s looking ahead to 5G, but wants to see how things would shake out as the wireless standard develops. Meanwhile, it’s building out its existing network to ensure it has the foundation ready when it comes time to deploy 5G.

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T-Mobile Boasts About 5G Speeds of 12Gbps

In September, T-Mobile surprised many industry onlookers when its 5G testing revealed speeds of 12Gbps, more than three times as fast as Verizon’s 5G trials. Although the testing speeds will be much different in the real world, T-Mobile gloated about its results and said it’s investing heavily in its 5G rollout. Meanwhile, T-Mobile will continue to drop cash into 4G LTE, which it says will act as the foundation for its 5G network.

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