Digital and technology

Three years to 5G trials

thumb-large-6 A trial 5G network is due to be set up in South Korea by 2017 as the industry prepares to move to the next stage of mobile technology.

5G is a concept which, at this stage, is best defined as the next evolution after 4G. This reflects the International Telecommunication Union’s loose definition of 4G: a “substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities” over 3G. The ITU plans to outline a vision for 5G in society next year.

Downloading a whole film in a second will be the waypoint that many commentators will use to judge whether 5G has truly arrived. Multiple input multiple output (MiMo) technology – already used by Samsung – is expected to deliver 5G, backed up by a major increase in the number of base stations, perhaps in every street. mGovernment develops in Croatia The cost of delivering the new technology will probably be covered by a rise in the price of data and the purchase of 5G-ready phones with stronger batteries.

As with most technologies, 5G is likely to be a luxury niche option at the beginning. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will give it a global platform, helping to increase uptake in the key markets. JT Ripton, a technology analyst for The Independent, predicts: “It is not likely to be a mainstream service until 2025. It might be a few years away, but the implications of 5G are enough to get tech-savvy consumers excited.”

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