Dreams of the Future
5G means much more than pure speed
So really, how fast is 5G?
Just like the switch from 3G to 4G moved us from a few megabits per second into the hundreds, 5G will blaze past 4G - in fact, a recent simulation by Qualcomm at the Mobile World Congress  showed 5G performing at 10 times the speed of our current standard. This extra capacity will make for a more reliable connection, too.
How soon will it be here?
Right now each of the four big cellular carriers - Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon - are all working on their own 5G networks and rolling them out over the next year. Chipmakers like Intel are developing processors that enable 5G and working with HP® and other hardware companies to make 5G laptops by the end of 2019.
What else can it do?
A lot, actually. As awe-inspiring as its speed is, 5G’s real magic is its low latency - the lag time between a device pinging the network and hearing back.
5G networks use OFDM, which is a type of coding that’s not too different from the 4G LTE encoding that we’re familiar with - but LTE does have a slight pingback time that OFDM virtually erases. This mix of speed and responsiveness will be a huge factor in making the next wave of tech trends a reality.
- Remote surgery: With the advances in haptic feedback 5G that allows, surgeons may not have to be in the same room as patients in the near future.
- Virtual tactile experiences: Get in the driver’s seat of a car that’s miles away - and feel every bump in the road.
- Smart drones: We’ve already seen drones assist lifeguards in water rescue situations. Look out for AI-equipped drones that can be more safely controlled in a low-altitude airspace and transmit back more reliable video.
- Virtual reality: 5G is the tech designed to carry the data that VR creates. When VR goes mainstream, it’ll go hand-in-hand with 5G.
- Smart cars: Not only will these vehicles be self-driving, but they’ll also be constantly pinging each other with updated traffic information designed for safety. (Put another way, it’s the robot equivalent of shouting “Watch out, a kid just ran into the street!”
How can 5G help my business?
- Improved face-to-face communication: With zero lag time and glitches, remote meetings and customer service interactions will feel more human.
- Happier remote employees: 5G’s reliability and speed means remote workers can access the full connectivity they need to be productive anywhere in the world.
- Increased productivity: It’s the natural byproduct of faster connectivity and lower latency, especially as small businesses become more reliant on cloud-based services.
- A boost to IoT and AI: Whether your business builds IoT and AI products or is simply looking for creative ways to integrate them into your business model, 5G is the network made to implement them.