5G is not a matter of if or even when. It’s a matter of “how soon.” The new, faster-than-ever speeds are coming to mobile devices sooner rather than later, although how quick will definitely depend on the territory you’re in.
We’ve talked about 5G before, but on different terms, either as one of the standouts of Mobile World Congress or as a new, powerful technology. Now that we’re closer than ever to it being a real thing, let’s look at some of the implications and facts about 5G.
It isn’t just about faster speeds for consumers
The significant improvement on data transfers will surely help us load Netflix much faster, but that’s not all there is to 5G. For the first time, this new generation of networks aims to help not only consumers, but other industries as well.
A great example is self-driving cars, which could communicate with each other much more seamlessly. The automotive industry would also benefit from more stable connections, as cars can’t afford to work on an unstable network.
IoT will be a “core component”
This leads directly to a huge improvement in the IoT sector, and it’s obvious why. IoT devices still need a lot of supporting technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but 5G could help mitigate that need on a lot of cases.
“While people often associate 5G with super-fast mobile broadband speeds, it will also serve a variety of use cases often with diametrically opposed requirements such as low data rates and long battery life as with the case of Mobile IoT,” says GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair.
It has hurt some companies financially
According to financial firm J.P. Morgan, markets in China, Japan, Australia and South Korea saw “depressed valuation” in telecommunication stocks. The reason? Investors didn’t like the apparent low returns on “5G technologies.” Those countries are likely to be the first in the region to roll out 5G.
In reality, it might just be a case of misguided expectations. The firm explained that the attention to 5G, including the one made by the media, has rapidly outpaced the technology itself. In short, 5G hasn’t had a chance to prove its worth simply because it’s too soon.
There’s actually two types of 5G
While it might be confusing at first, it actually isn’t that hard to grasp. The first version is called non-standalone 5G, which is probably the one most of us will know—at least in the short-term. In short, it’s the 5G that will be built on top of existing infrastructures but with the necessary upgrades, of course.
Non-standalone 5G will prove to be the most popular choice for companies simply because of the fact that it will be much less expensive to develop. Already, many providers use similar setups for running 4G in older networks.
As you can guess, the second type is called standalone 5G, and it refers to whole new network built from the ground-up. A true fifth generation, in other words. Obviously, this will represent a much higher investment for companies, both financially and on resource-wise. So much that there isn’t even a “clearly defined business case.”