The Future of 5G in the United States


In 1908, a US Patent was issued in Kentucky for a wireless phone. Sixty-five years later, Motorola was the first to mass produce a handheld mobile phone. These early phones ran on what is considered to be OG or Zero Generation mobile phone technology. These phones were nothing in comparison to what’s available at our fingertips today, yet it was still a breakthrough.

Mobile technology has continued to evolve, improve, and entrench itself into the interworking’s of modern society. From flip phones, to Blackberries, to the first iPhone, mobile devices have become an everyday item that some deem as a necessity. According to Statista, there will be a predicted 2.71 billion smartphone users world by 2019 and just shy of 3 billion smartphone users by 2020.

Currently, mobile technology is running off of 4G/LTE technology, which was introduced in 2009 and succeeded 3G, the mobile technology available to the public in 2001. Previous to 3G was 2G technology, which has been abandoned by AT&T all together and other major providers (Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) have fade-out plans in place. 5G mobile technology is supposed to be available within the market by 2020. Fifth generation mobile technology is forecasted to reach between 25-100 million connections by 2021, and the costs to support the infrastructure are expected to approach $2.3 billion.

As expected, there will be technical advances brought by 5G technology. The three main benefits of 5G technology, according to NBC News, include:

  • Faster speed. Mobile phones aren’t expected to only make phone calls. With the evolution of the smartphone, consumers have come to rely on their mobile phone as a source of information in addition to communication capabilities. Faster speeds will mean more transferring of data, for example, downloading a high-def movie would take a mere seconds, if that.
  • Shorter delays. The modern cell phone user might not even be aware, but sometimes a lag does exist between the time from when data is sent and received. 5G will decrease this lag time making delays, or buffering, a thing of the past.
  • Increased connectivity. During times of emergency, it’s not uncommon for cell towers to become overloaded with connections and result in an outage. Cell towers equipped with 5G capabilities should allow for more devices/people to communicate with each other at the same time.

The 5G technology has already made its debut during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Samsung and Intel live streamed VR coverage of the sporting events during the games. Other key players, AT&T, Spring, T-Mobile, and Verizon, are also developing their 5G technology and capabilities with the goal of bringing it to consumers in 2019.

As news about 5G technology continues to be released, count on Bit by Bit to keep you updated. 

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