5G, the future of mobile internet, is on its way

With 3G, and then 4G, mobile internet becoming widespread, users have been able to access their e-mails, Skype or Facetime their friends or even catch pokémon on their phones without the need for Wi-fi signals. The new standard of mobile internet is already well into development, and companies are getting ready for it. The future is 5G.

According to CNET, 5G promises to provide a range of improved features, including speeds greater than internet via fiber-optic cable. In fact, it will apparently be capable of 10-100 times faster downloads than the standard phone of today. What’s more, it should allow greater communication between all manner of smart devices including self-driving cars and faster response times in communication between devices. Once this technology becomes the standard, it should allow for more versatile use of smart gadgets wherever you may go. More than that, it should allow automated technology to coordinate on whole new levels, sharing and responding to new information with greatly reduced lag.

But 5G isn’t just faster than our current mobile internet. It offers much smarter functionality. 5G broadcast signals can reportedly use network slicing to send high-quality ultrafast signals to your smart devices while assigning a separate lower speed signal for less sophisticated devices which won’t need it. In this way, there’s less traffic on each signal and your devices can run without getting in each other’s way.

Now, while 5G makes big promises and will likely advance our wireless technology well beyond its current capabilities… it still isn’t here quite yet. While some companies will be offering 5G as part of select services within the year, it might be 2019 or even 2020 before the general public gets to take the new technology for granted as part of their phones, as even mobile providers will need time to upgrade their technology to meet the new requirements. Companies are expected to discuss the possibilities of the new technology at MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing ) this year.

While 5G is still just out of reach until perhaps next year, all sides seem to agree that it should completely change the capabilities of our devices. This could well prove to be the biggest change to mobile technology since the advent of the smartphone.

Ronan Daly

Ronan Daly is a staff writer for My Good Planet who specialises in Technology and Science. With a Masters Degree in English, and over a decade's experience as a teacher and writer, Ronan has brought a breezy, learned style to My Good Planet, making occasionally complex material accessible and understandable to all.