There’s no need to rush to 5G, yet

There’s no need to rush to 5G, yet

Why should I wait? While there’s no doubt that 5G networks will usher in dramatic changes, a widespread transition will not happen overnight. Here’s why. The “G” stands for “generation” and encompasses all equipment and standards that enable cellular networks to handle radio signals and data exchange. On the consumer side, cellular users will purchase 5G-enabled phones, which are already available. To make those devices work, cellular providers will need to upgrade infrastructure to achieve 5G speeds and bandwidth capacities. Infrastructure upgrades will take time Cellular providers are starting to test 5G in very limited markets. AT&T and Verizon are approaching 5G with a technology known as the millimeter wave. This high-frequency technology can transmit data at high speeds, however, the near-term drawback is that signals don’t travel as far as those transmitted with current 4G signals infrastructure. Initial rollouts for millimeter technology will occur in densely populated areas where existing cell towers are able to provide adequate coverage for test purposes. To extend coverage out to these areas, these carriers will need to build extra towers and add tens of millions of antennas to deliver 5G capabilities into rural areas. Outside of these limited test areas, “5G” capabilities are presently being delivered primarily through software upgrades and are not “true” 5G. What does it mean for me, now? The good news is that 5G is not the only game in town. As 5G infrastructure is built, progress on 4G technology and systems continues to be made. IoT, smart industry and connected transportation providers will ultimately benefit from 5G but at present, may be better off researching improved LTE...