5G promises to create a major impact by connecting the Internet of things, edge computing, and analytics infrastructure with minimal latency. This ebook, based on the latest special feature from ZDNet and TechRepublic
, offers an inside look at how and where 5G technologies will affect industries, organizations, cities, and consumers. From the ebook:
Analogue mobile phones first appeared in the early 1980s, and were used for voice calls only (imagine that!). Second-generation (2G) digital mobiles made their debut a decade later with GSM, offering text messaging (SMS) as the ‘killer application’ on top of voice services, becoming the dominant technology worldwide. A roughly 10-year cycle has continued ever since, with each generation adding more data bandwidth and therefore enabling a richer set of services: around the turn of the millennium, 3G (UMTS or CDMA 2000) offered data rates of around 1Mbps and could be described as ‘mobile broadband’, while 2010 saw 4G (LTE) reaching 100Mbps.
Of course, as in any evolutionary process, there have been intermediate stages: GPRS and EDGE were ‘2.5G’ packet-switching technologies that made internet connections possible, for example, while HSPA and HSPA+ brought ‘3.5G’ data rates up to 2Mbps. More recently, ‘4.5G’ LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro have paved the way from 4G to 5G, taking data rates up to 1Gbps.
We are now on the cusp of the 5G era, with standards, spectrum allocation, network infrastructure, chipsets and devices all moving into place around the world. Fast 5G networks with low latencies and high connection densities will improve existing mobile experiences and, in due course, enable new use cases. In the meantime, as the 5G ecosystem develops, we will inevitably see a lot of marketing activity—some of it distinctly questionable.