Published March 11, 2014
Can you imagine being able to download a full-length movie on your phone in just a second? Thanks to a new agreement signed by British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that future is near for residents of those two nations. Cameron announced, at Europe's Cebit tech show, a set of initiatives that will spur 5G research and develop the blazing fast network in the next four years.
While analysts don't expect 5G to be available until the year 2020, it is widely believed that the network will offer speeds that are 1,000 times faster than the existing 4G framework, up to 1 GBps. This means we can potentially download a full movie (size typically ranging from 600MB to 1.5GB depending on resolution and quality) in under a second while on the go. However, no one is saying what exactly the tech is behind 5G speeds.
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Cameron envisions 5G will power an Internet of Things in the two countries, facilitating speedy communications between smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, home monitoring systems and appliances. South Korea announced earlier this year that it has already begun building its next-generation network and hopes to make it commercially available by 2020.
Whether 5G will hit us sooner rather than later largely depends on carriers and manufacturers adopting it. While other countries compete to deliver 5G connectivity before others, some carriers here in the U.S. continue to struggle with providing reliable 4G LTE networks nationwide. Verizon Wireless is also working on deploying an improved AWS LTE spectrum for better connections before the end of 2014.