by Mark Ollig
Imagine being able to download an 800-megabyte movie file in less than one second.
This, and much more, is the promise of the next generation in mobile cellular technology.
Currently, many of us are using the fourth generation (4G) of wireless cellular technology in our smartphone or mobile device.
This latest generation of high-speed, cellular data service operates over a 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network.
LTE’s upper packet data-layers are built upon TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) technology.
On average, an individual user’s 4G LTE data speeds will range from about 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
We have been using 4G LTE for a few years now. So, what will the next quantum leap in high-speed, mobile technology be?
Folks in the information and communications technology industry are calling this next generation of mobile technology: 5G.
Some have described 5G as “ultra broadband.” Others say it has the potential of transmitting data 1,000 times faster than the current 4G LTE.
One company’s research paper states that their 5G HyperService Cube will provide users a 1Gbps minimum data rate speed, while users of mobile cloud services will experience “fiber-like” data-rate speeds of 10Gbps.
With the ongoing advancements in communication technology, I question how long it will be until we permanently “cut the cord” and become a virtually wireless communicating populace.
It has taking, on average, 10 years for each new generation of high-speed, wireless mobile technology to be developed and implemented commercially.
The first 1G cellular network in the US was activated in 1983, by Ameritech, in Chicago. Motorola’s DynaTAC was the first mobile phone using this network.
Late in 2010, 4G LTE became available in the US.
Will we need to wait until 2020 for the 5G version to become fully developed, and commercially available from the cellular carriers?
I’m not so sure. It seems some folks across the big pond just can’t wait that long.
Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom said, with the “world on fast forward,” the UK risks being left behind, without ultra-fast broadband.
Cameron recently met with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, during the CeBit trade show in Hannover, Germany.
There, Cameron announced a partnership to develop 5G wireless technology between the UK and Germany.
“We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution and I want us – the UK and Germany – to lead it,” said Cameron.
This partnership includes the University of Dresden in Germany, King’s College University in London, and the University of Surrey in southeast England.
“It is our ambition to make the UK the most digital nation in the G8, and it is my mission to show the world that we’re getting there,” Cameron said.
And it’s not just the UK pushing for 5G, as South Korea has scheduled to roll out trial services of 5G in 2017, and to have it fully commercialized by 2020.
Huawei, an information and communications technology company in China, said it also plans a 5G rollout by 2020.
“Any mobile app and any mobile service will be given the potential to connect to anything at any time – from people and communities to physical things, processes, content, working knowledge, timely pertinent information, and goods of all sorts in entirely flexible, reliable, and secure ways,” said Huawei in their “5G: A Technology Vision” paper. The complete 16-page paper can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/bytes-hauwei1.
It is said that 5G technology will bring about, more quickly, “The Internet of Things” or IoT.
IoT has to do with intelligent components, called “smart sensors,” being attached to, and gathering information from the electronic devices we use. These are the “things” which will be connected to the Internet.
Techopedia describes IoT saying: “If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things – using data they gathered without any help from us – we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss, and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing, or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best.”
Examples of IoT devices include smart sensors on water pumps and water meters. These smart sensors will constantly monitor and report on water pressure, levels, usage, and locate any leaks.
Smart sensors connected to homes’ and businesses’ electrical meters will be communicating with the power grid over the Internet.
Wearable health monitoring devices will instantly relay information back to the healthcare provider.
And when the milk is almost gone in the refrigerator – you guessed it – a smart sensor will order more for us.
It seems the future of the IoT is predicated on having the computers, appliances, and other devices in our businesses and our homes becoming attached to the Internet’s computing networking cloud.
When considering 5G’s potential, along with the promise of enhanced, super-fast broadband networks, and the Internet’s IPV6 addressing structure, virtually every device on the planet could be interconnected, thus creating a truly globally-networked society.
It’s still early in the 5G game; however, the excitement is beginning.