What to expect from 5G, and when

The 5th generation of wireless systems (“5G”) is now in the final testing stage and planned deployment will be from 2018 and onwards.

The primary technologies include millimetre wave bands and offer performance as high as 20 gigabits per second, which is 50-100 times faster than current 4G networks. It relies on denser arrays of small antennas, and the cloud will serve as critical infrastructure for a range of industries. 

Unlike the system standard upgrade 2G, around 1990, 3G around the year 2000, and 4G in 2010, 5G standards will deliver not just faster phone and computer data, but will also allow the Internet of Things to function efficiently.

Building of mass-market 5G networks is still probably a year ahead. However, by 2025, it is expected that more than 1 billion people will have access to 5G networks, of which one third are in China.

This rather ‘paradigmatic’ progress in network systems enables new mobile services and even whole new business models, but certainly represents challenges for those who may be unprepared to invest in the transition. 

It is expected that 5G will create openings for a far wider range of players in hardware, software and semiconductor technology, many of them from Asia.

The standards will be set by international bodies to ensure all phones work across different mobile networks. Operators who succeed in getting essential patents to exploit the new standards may surely enjoy major royalty licensing revenue streams ahead.

Before the new technology becomes a reality for consumers, mobile operators must upgrade their networks and phone makers must make handsets with built-in 5G radios ready to hook up to networks. 

More information may be found here.