Santa Claus may not be the only one coming to town this year – last week one of the biggest wireless carriers in the US added a few more names to their list of cities named to get mobile 5G network by the end of 2018. AT&T confirmed in a statement that the new wireless technology would drastically increase the mobile wireless internet speeds and enhance their first-responders broadband platform. The list so far includes cities from all sizes such as Dallas, Atlanta, Waco, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma.
AT&T wants to be the first major US carrier to introduce 5G to their customers and aims to bring its technology to at least a dozen cities by the end of 2018. AT&T hopes that the new 5G network will attract investors to those communities, have a positive impact on jobs creation and drive overall economic growth.
T-Mobile is in the game too; they announced plans to build 5G infrastructure in 30 US cities by the end of 2018. However, even though that the network might be ready for usage soon, they will likely start offering it to its customers at some point next year. Verizon wireless is also catching up on the 5G implementation game but not for their wireless service offering – they are planning on strengthening their position in the broadband market first, by introducing 5G broadband service. They have plans to launch the latest technology to at least four cities in the US, starting with Los Angeles.
How is this going to affect you?
In an interview for Venture Beat published back in May 2018, Qualcomm spokesperson stated that the 5G speeds would go anywhere from 1 to 4.5Gbps. Having in mind 4G LTE is often referred as offering a 1 Gbps connection, it is safe to say so we can expect the new 5G speeds to make your internet about 2 to 4 times faster than what you have right now. Rapid internet speeds mean that live streaming of ultra-high definition 8k video may come sooner than later.
The users wanting to experience fasters speeds to their fullest will have to purchase 5G compatible cellphones. All major mobile device manufacturers are actively working on developing the first 5G phones for the US market. While some of them are expected to release brand new 5G compatible devices later this year, the majority of the cell phone manufacturers will leave it for 2019.
US wireless carriers will most likely introduce different options for unlimited internet depending on your speed of choice. Verizon Wireless currently offers genuinely unlimited 3G internet speeds to people who cap their LTE data usage. As an example, if you are on an 8GB monthly data plan and you end up using all your data allowance, Verizon Wireless would automatically throttle your speed to unlimited 3G. Downgrading to 3G will make your internet access unlimited but essentially decrease your internet speeds nearly ten times.
Increased data consumption
Moving to a 5G network will undoubtedly increase the amounts of wireless data that you are using. Ultra high-res video will most likely become a standard, and your data consumption will start reaching new highs prompting you to upgrade to higher data plans. This would undoubtedly have an impact on your wireless bill.
The fasters speeds of the advanced 5G technology will not only help wireless carriers meet the ever-growing data consumption demands of their user base but will increase the productivity of first responders and law enforcement. Companies in the cloud computing and AI industries will only benefit from the new technology as they will strengthen the stability of their offerings, and even increase their service portfolios.
What will happen to LTE/4G?
The rollout of 5G does not necessarily mean that your carrier would immediately terminate the existence of their 4G network. Wireless carriers will keep the network up and running as a backup for areas where 5G isn’t available, similar to the way 3G is being used nowadays in the US.
The new technology will inevitably have an impact on everyone in the US. Mixed reality will enter more industries, AI and cloud computing companies will use the technology to grow, and 5G will bring the detail in ultra-high definition video. AT&T’s readiness to deploy 5G by the end of the year is a sign that we may soon see 5G smartphones hit the retail network! However, with great power comes great responsibility, the faster speeds may give more power to cybercriminals too – stealing 1TB of data would not take as long as it does right now. When 5G hits the market protecting all your connected devices will be as important as it is right now!