Over the past thirty years, we’ve seen many evolutions of wireless take place, and the ‘G’ term represents the generational change of technology. For example, the move to 3G from 2G represented a viable mobile data experience, allowing for the first viable data applications like multimedia messaging and web browsing on wireless devices. It was somewhat equivalent to moving from dial-up Internet to DSL service for wireline.
In that regard, the move to 4G from 3G introduced a true mobile broadband experience, allowing us to watch TV on our smartphone for example. Most of the generational advances for wireless centered on better and faster mobile data experiences. Until now.
5G is Different The move to 5G will be different. While this evolution will bring much faster mobile broadband than 4G, it will bring much more. It will enable a new generation of wireless applications that will transform society, in effect, digitizing much of our everyday life.
Applications will include smart communities, where ubiquitous wireless coverage will enable communities to better serve citizens with e-government services, while improving public safety. Much more efficient power grids will help lower costs and emissions, while sensors can monitor everything from traffic signals to trash cans.
Smart farms can use 5G wireless technology for better crop yields and healthier livestock. All leading to more efficient farms and hopefully, more profitable ones.
All of this 5G connectivity will be driven by a fiber-rich backhaul network, requiring significant fiber investment in urban and rural territories if it is to reach its full promise. This 5G transformation has already started and will likely take 5 – 7 years before we really begin to see its true impact.
Wireline and wireless network operators will both play a crucial role in helping achieve this 5G vision. There’s a lot of fiber that will need to be laid, and many small cells that will need to be deployed. Finley Engineering will be following these developments closely and helping clients maximize their 5G opportunity.