A new mobile generation has appeared just about every decade since the first 1G system was introduced in 1981. Generation 2G launched in 1991, 3G in 2001 and 4G in 2012. Currently, 5G is just a concept in its early infancy. Therefore, there is no specifications yet available. However, we do know that the International Telecommunication Union allowed carriers to label anything 4G so long as it offered a “substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities” over 3G. So, we can conclude 5G will only have to be substantially better than 5G.
Samsung has already benchmarked some impressive data speeds of 1GB per second, which means that on a 5G network, we could download an entire movie in 30 seconds. 5G will be nearly 50 times faster than 5G, and the latency rate will become completely unperceivable to humans. These speeds will be trademark of 5G, which will over a “seamless user experience” and remove all downloading time, lagging apps, and freezing videos.
Debate is still current (and passionate) about exactly how this will be done. Multiple input multiple output (MiMo) technology uses small antennas to service individual streams, which is what Samsung used to make their 1GB per second speed. However, Hybrid Adaptive Array Technology is also a contender, which uses 28GHz radio-frequency signals, which enables high data rates but with a smaller transmission range. However, some tech big shots have already mentioned that it’s possible a 5G base station could eventually manage to get into every home and lamppost.
The investment has already been enormous. South Korea has already invested $1.5 billion in attempting to solve the mystery, with hopes of launching a trial in time for 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The European Commission set aside $886 million, Huawei invested $600 million, and Ericsson and Intel are also testing the limits of 5G. Currently, it’s likely we will see 5G reach South Korea first, but then it is likely to reach the U.S. in 2018, and if not, by 2020. It’s likely 5G won’t be mainstream until 2015, because it will require not judge an upgrade of networks, but brand new devices. Currently, our mobile gadgets can’t support the new technology. Which means we will need new smartphones equipped with ridiculously tricked out batteries.