While the power of personal communication via smart devices continues to grow it’s worth remembering the importance of the carriers providing the networks on which they work.
Not that long ago, as we discussed in our previous blog on the history of mobile telephony and in our infographic, most carriers were only providing text and voice services via 2G networks and the idea of being able to watch a film or stream a live football match via your phone was unheard of.
But things have moved relatively quickly (every 10 years or so on average) through 3G and into 4G and now we have 5G on the horizon with companies like the US’s Verizon Wireless announcing they’re beginning field-testing 5G network technology next year.
Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon, said he expects “some level of commercial deployment” to begin by 2017 – a full three years ahead of the projected 2020 date for the industry.
5G will be a far more capable network than its predecessors; it will deliver speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps), which is 40 times faster than the current maximum speeds achievable on 4G.
The result will be a further transformation of how we live our lives, and a steep increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications to enable fuller, richer and more convenient lifestyles. This is the promise of 5G as it enables the Internet of Things (IoT).
There are still plenty of hurdles to jump before we see a fully-fledged commercially available 5G network however. Uppermost is for the industry and the world’s Governments to work together and develop a standard for 5G. Setting this standard will allow mobile devices, multiple networks and multiple users (human, machine, drones, robots, phones, wearables etc.) to access the network and its data in a consistent way and eliminate the need for humans to intervene.
The other vital factor is the allocation of more radio spectrum which is critical to meet the increased demands for speed and data rates beyond 2020. There are also critical security issues which need addressing.
As much of the IoT trend will be focussed on M2M (machine to machine) communication, how machines share that data will be the subject of intense interest. Traditional methodology for protecting our computers and phones from cyberattacks may not work on connected printers, cars or even a “smart city” infrastructure. Embedding security options during devise and equipment product design and development will go a long way to addressing this issue.
The possibilities of 5G are endless and waiting to see just what the industry will come up with as it works towards the new network is fascinating.
*At SmartIPX, we manage tools that enable our customers to leverage this Tier 1 operator investment, allowing our partners to focus on their customer experience in an IP anywhere and everywhere environment.
Talk to us today about partnering for growth – we have decades of experience in quick and efficient delivery. From the simple to the complex, 24*7, Out of Hours only, switch or network orientated, whatever you need, we can deliver.
- Take a look at our “Future of 5G” thoughtpiece blog here: A Not So Brief History of Mobile Telephony
- See our infographic about the major developments in mobile telephony here: Technology Timeline
- or download our White Paper (PDF)about the history of mobile telephony.