5G is coming my friends; it's going to be faster and—well, a lot faster. A LOT. Feel like you don't know enough about 5G? Here are five terms about 5G you should know.
- 3GPP. This stands for 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Despite the three in the name, this is a group of seven standards-setting organizations that organize the rollout of 5G standards and definitions. It's not really 5G until 3GPP says it's 5G.
- mmWave/millimeter waves. High-frequency waves in the millimeter band between microwave and infrared that are used to deliver faster, high-capacity data. Be warned: Much like microwaves, they're susceptible to being blocked by buildings.
- MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple Output). It's a good old-fashioned technology that lets you send and receive more than one data signal on the same channel by using more than one antenna. It can help increase capacity.
- Enhanced small cells. Low-powered cellular radio access nodes that serve fewer users than other nodes over a smaller geographic area. They operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrums from 10 meters up to a few kilometers. 5G needs more antennas, and small cells are one way to achieve that.
- 5G NR. The NR stands for "New Radio." This 3GPP standard combines millimeter wave, enhanced small cells, MIMO beamforming and a few other things. It's the 5G standard the 3GPP has blessed, and companies who have started out developing others like 5G TF, or 5G SIG, will transition to 5G NR.
5G does not come without challenges, but that possible user data rate of 1 Gbps sure does make it worth the effort.
- Quick glossary: 5G technology (Tech Pro Research)
- 5G mobile networks: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Mini-glossary: 5G terms you should know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- What are consumers willing to pay for 5G? (ZDNet)
- True 5G standard to be set in December 2019: Samsung (ZDNet)
- The 5G revolution is upon us. Here's everything you need to know (CNET)
- 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- The promise of 5G for the enterprise and beyond (TechRepublic)
Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, covering the most important tech issues of the day with the smartest minds in technology.