The 5G Headline Battle

The Next Generation of Wireless Sparks Frenzy


This stage of 5G was inevitable: the market noise phase.Press releases from infrastructure suppliers and mobile operators are filled with best-case scenario throughput numbers. It's part of educating audiences and creating excitement for a new generation of products and services. The 5G numbers frenzy is here.

It's difficult not to be enthusiastic about the potential of 5G. The headline speeds are enticing, and even if they are laboratory-setting embellishments, they are the Hollywood equivalent of a movie trailer. These are the good parts that leave us wanting more.

This week in Australia, wireless operator Telstra, together with equipment maker Ericsson, achieved download speeds of between 18 Gbps and 22 Gbps using massive multiple-input and multiple-output technology in an outdoor demonstration. This is incredible bandwidth in the world of cellular, with simple math pointing to a 1,000-fold jump in throughput over LTE. That's fast access even when compared with current fixed-line speeds.

These numbers make good tabloid-style headlines, and there have been plenty lately across continents. It seems that almost every week one company or another has a proof of concept or "world-first" to present to the world's media. Just recently in South Korea, SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics completed handover trials; in Finland, Nokia and Sonera issued a press release with news of a successful 5G trial; and in the US, Nokia worked with Sprint to put on a 5G show. Undoubtedly, planning for 5G has begun far earlier than for previous generations of the wireless technology.

But 5G won't be all about speed. Ultra-low latency and far greater network capacity will be vital for many of the wide and diverse range of applications being touted for the technology.

Given that mainstream mobile 5G services are at least five years away, the published trials are a touch of technology theatre, assuring investors, bloggers and early adopters that the wireless world is evolving. But this isn't just hype: 5G will change the connectivity ecosystem, connecting more and more things. However, we will have to get ready first for an exponential growth of noise — the telecom industry will make sure it doesn't keep silent about it.

 

This entry was posted on September 23rd, 2016 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or you can leave a response.

Posted By Raghu Gopal On September 23rd, 2016


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