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26 February 2017

5G Explained: The Next-Gen Data Tech Is Coming

"Higher frequencies (and faster speeds) mean shorter distances - that in turn means antenna technology is going to have to be upgraded, and we're probably going to need more antennas too. We might see transmitters built into base stations and street furniture (like lampposts and road signs)."

5G explained: the next-gen data tech is coming
by David Nield, Dan Grabhamwww.t3.com
25 February 2017
 
Leaving 3G and 4G behind - it's the next generation data for your phone

5G is coming to a cell tower near you faster than you might think: with speeds that could eventually hit hundreds of times those of 4G, it promises to transform the way we communicate with each other and with our devices once again. Very early trials are underway, and we've more details below. We can't give you any exact statistics about 5G yet, because the standard has yet to be defined: researchers and authorities are hoping to have a 5G specification in place in the next couple of years. Radio communications experts from the 193 member countries of the United Nations will be setting down the technical requirements in 2016.

5G is, rather obviously, the successor to 4G: if you thought the 4G speeds you can get in certain parts of the country were fast, just wait until you get 5G on your phone. As we've said, there's no exact specification yet, but broadly speaking 5G has the potential to be hundreds of times faster than current speeds.

Not only will the speeds be greater, so will the bandwidth (the amount of devices and data that can be handled at once): that means the benefits will go way beyond smartphones to cover everything in the Internet of Things. Your car, for example, will eventually be able to offer high-speed Wi-Fi wherever you are.

5G is technically known as IMT-2020 (3G is IMT-2000 and 4G is IMT-Advanced) - that stands for International Mobile Telecommunications (in the year) 2020. Between now and then, there's a lot to sort out.

How does it work?

If you're wondering what exactly 5G is, when you can get it or what the benefits will be, wonder no longer - we've compiled everything we know so far about the technology so you can impress your friends with your 5G-related knowledge.

What is it?

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