Date: January 18th, 2017


5G is coming, but few know much about it.  Not to worry, here are 10 things that will help you sound as if you are “in the know.”


It is fast …like really fast.

When you hear about cellular network speeds, think of it like your car speedometer.  Just because your car says it can go 200Km/hr (130mph), that doesn’t mean that you will ever drive it that fast, due to things like traffic, laws, etc.  The same is true for network speeds.  However, expect speeds at least 10x what you have now on LTE networks.


It avoids any extra delays

There is a term called latency, which is the time is takes for a piece of data to go back and forth on a network (think, “my latency to get ice cream and be back on the couch is equal to one TV commercial”).  LTE networks have pretty low latency for most applications.  However, 5G reduces it by 95%, making it possible to do things like surgical procedures remotely.


It uses a different type of “tower”

Most people visualize a cell tower as being a big tall object by the highway.  However, 5G will start off by using a ton of little towers that are placed closer together.  Some of them will be as small as a pizza box!


It can handle your phone, your home, your car…

5G is able to handle many times more devices than today’s networks, meaning that you will not experience slowdowns in network speed like you do now.  This also leads to the next point ….


It will power the growth of IoT

With the ability to handle many times more devices, 5G will reduce the cost of network connectivity.  This is expected to power the move towards using cellular to connect IoT devices, such as cars, appliances and smartwatches.


It arrives sooner than you think

While some of the equipment may be ready soon, it takes time to not only install the network equipment but to set up the infrastructure for a network.  So, while there may be some limited connectivity in 2019, expect it to start to become widely available in 2020 … which is only 2 years away!


It requires new equipment

Sorry, in order to gain the benefits of using 5G, you will need to use 5G-ready equipment, which is not available for a while.  The first devices available will almost certainly be smartphones.


It will change many industries

The availability of super high-speed connectivity at prices comparable to DSL/Cable will change just about every business … this ranges from transportation to retail to how you watch live events using VR technology!


Most things you own will have a “rate plan”

As mentioned, more of the devices in your home and office will use the cellular network, so they will have a monthly rate plan.  The good news is that most of those plans will be pennies per month and the cost will likely be included in the price you pay.


It will further enhance “cord-cutting”

If you can get DSL/Cable like speeds just about anywhere, why would you have a landline connection at home?  Expect the wide availability of 5G to further erode the base of those using landline services at home.