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  • When it debuted, the 4G wireless we have today allowed people for the first time to hit the road

  • and explore unknown places with only a smartphone for directions.

  • When 5G arrives, it could enable driverless cars to take us there as well.

  • 5G stands for fifth-generation mobile networks or wireless systems.

  • It's insanely fast and can accommodate a lot more connected devices.

  • But the reason it's being called revolutionary is because 5G will allow connected devices

  • to speak to each other, as well as people.

  • Right now, we're living in a world where, really, it's a one-way experience.

  • That's Bloomberg Tech Reporter Ian King

  • The network talks to your phone, you look at your phone and access data, then

  • you send something back to the network.

  • What we're being told about 5G is that, really, for the first time, we're going to see machines

  • communicating with each other over mobile networks in a meaningful way.

  • 5G could end up being 100 times faster than what we have now with speeds that could reach

  • 10 gigabits per second.

  • In plain English, that means downloading a full-length HD movie in seconds.

  • 5G will also increase total bandwidth, which we will need in order to accommodate the growing

  • internet of things”.

  • We're talking about internet-connected refrigerators, thermostats, dog collars, but...5G will enable

  • so many more.

  • Things like your utility network factories, where machines just sat there,

  • not connected at all.

  • Suddenly, they're all going to be connected

  • Other things like cars, like utility poles, like the light poles on the street, like traffic lights.

  • But perhaps the biggest advance will be a huge reduction in communication lag time,

  • known as latency.

  • A network of driverless cars will need the speed of 5G to ping each other multiple times

  • per second to avoid collisions.

  • Near-instantaneous data transfers could allow doctors to perform surgery remotely with a

  • robotic scalpel.

  • So how will it work?

  • First, you need to improve "network density"

  • and that's just a fancy word for saying you put more towers out there.

  • What we're being told is that's not actually the case with 5G.

  • The idea is 5G will not only use the existing mobile spectrum but also tap into higher frequencies,

  • called millimeter waves.

  • Millimeter waves can carry more data, but only travel short distances.

  • This may mean you'll see a lot more of these so called base stations around town.

  • And the new towers may have as many as 100 antennae ports, compared to about a dozen

  • on 4G cell towers.

  • When will we get 5G?

  • Providers in the U.S. are expected to spend $275 billion over seven years to upgrade.

  • Expect to see the first 5G service pop up in big cities sometime in 2019.

When it debuted, the 4G wireless we have today allowed people for the first time to hit the road

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B1 US network connected driverless millimeter wireless utility

What 5G Means for Your Phone

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    Rachel Kung posted on 2018/04/17
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