We won’t be seeing 5G speeds any time in the near future, but when we do… it’s going to be a true game-changer.
Just when you thought your LTE connection was the bomb (and it is), when Canada’s wireless providers take the plunge and invest in the infrastructure to deliver 5G, we’ll discover a brand new meaning to “the bomb” idiom. But don’t hold your breath; a dramatic trek across the sea of wireless speeds from the shores of 4G to the promised land of 5G won’t be sailing here anytime soon.
Over in South Korea, where they invest heavily in bleeding-edge technology, there are plans to have 5G connections in place with speeds 1,000 times faster than that of 4G. Here’s a cool real-world comparative scenario: downloading an 800 MB movie with the most advanced 4G available (the 3band LTE-A proposed for later this year in South Korea) would take 22 seconds; with 5G the movie would be yours in one second. A single tick of the clock.
I know, we can’t download 800 MBs of digital goodness in 22 seconds now, even with the fastest LTE, which basically maxes out at about 75 Mbps. The aforementioned 3band LTE-A spec boasts download speeds of between 150 and 225 Mbps, which is already crazy fast. Perhaps Canadian carriers will adopt this spec next year, although there is nothing out there to suggest they will.
Back to 5G and those mind-blowing speed calculations. Given its insane capabilities, an entire Blu-ray would only take anywhere between five and 15 seconds (4GB vs 12 GB) to download. Even a massive file like a 30 GB PlayStation 4 game would only cost you 38 seconds of your time.
“Sign me up,” you undoubtedly scream. I hear you. But even in South Korea, 5G won’t be a reality until about 2020. The East Asian country won’t begin trial tests for its planned 5G service until 2017, and will take about three years to fully roll out.
Think about 5G’s speed. Sure, we’re looking at sometime in the next decade for a North American launch, but imagine the products and services we’ll see on our mobile devices. It’s more than likely consumers will be bombarded with a range of apps and goodies that we can’t even fathom today. Those applications haven’t even been invented yet, and they’re going to be running on screens that haven’t been invented yet.
If Apple already has plans for a 5.5 inch iPhone 6 to come sometime next year, who knows what kind of screen sizes and configurations we’ll see by the time 5G rolls around?
If you love tech, you’ve got to be beside yourself over how far we’re progressing since the 2G days when the first iPhone came out. The thousandfold jump between 4G and 5G may end up being the greatest significant upgrade the world of technology has ever seen. The more you think about it, that previous prognostication isn’t packed with puffery. Forced alliteration aside, it’s probably not an exaggeration that the 5G revolution could be the greatest upgrade ever. Saying it will be a game changer is an understatement.