When I was a kid the year 2020 sounded impossibly distant. In fact, if you grew up in the 1970’s any year from 2000 on seemed futuristic; the stuff of pure science fiction. I figured surely by 2020 we’ll have colonized Mars and extended our life spans to 150 years, right?
Well, not so much, but 2020 will bring us one thing we don’t have now: 5G networking (if all goes well).
What is 5G networking?
5G is the next level of mobile networking; the successor to 4G. As a background, current 4G networks run at about 100 Megabits per second while 5G will travel at 10 Gigabits per second – theoretically 100 times faster, but in real life we’ll probably see about two-thirds of that boost. It’s still nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider that 3G networks run at a paltry 384 Kilobits per second.
As with any increase in network speed and capacity, companies have big plans for how to use these new capabilities. Obviously, upload and download speeds will drop to a fraction of their current level. Streaming audio/video will work much more efficiently. All sorts of new infrastructure related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and advances in environmental or vehicular controls are being eagerly mapped out to make the best use of the increased speeds associated with 5G.