Technology Review: 5G

Posted Jun 9th, 2016 in News

Technology Review: 5G

Although the next generation of wireless technology is still years away, Canada's major telecom operators are already getting involved. Bell, Telus, and Rogers are all participating in the development of the 5G wireless standard by helping to develop technical specifications and test next-generation networking equipment.

Bell announced it will start 5G trials soon and are a member of the Next Generation Mobile Networks consortium. Telus is also a member of NGMN, but Rogers is not, though they claim to be "taking part in standards setting" with various organizations. Telus partnered with Huawei to develop a "5G Living Lab" in Vancouver to spur the development of 5G technology.

5G hopes to accomplish a multitude of lofty goals: it will reduce latency to speed up real-time data activities (such as video calling); it will maximize the efficiency of a large volume of small-load devices to ensure the Internet of Things doesn't overburden the network; and it will provide vastly faster speeds, up to 40 times faster than 4G.

To achieve these faster speeds, networks will have to significantly boost their data caps to make usage meaningful. The ideal maximum data rate of 5G, which is targeting 10Gbps over the air, would mean that a 5GB data plan would be consumed in only four seconds. Netflix is hoping to stream 4K video over 5G networks at a rate of 7GB per hour (16Mbps), a mere 1/625 of a 5G cell site's capacity.

Source: https://www.thestar.com/ business/2016/05/22/canadas-major-telecoms-set-to-leap-in-to-5g-technology.html

Implications: In order to have enough data to last an average month, consumers will probably need about 500GB at 5G speeds. Carriers should probably plan ahead for rapidly rising data caps as they move towards this new technology standard.

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