We won’t see 5G from Verizon, the nation’s top carrier, till 2017, but it’s going be big with speeds 200x faster than the current, which is about the same speed as Google Fiber. So we want to start thinking about what it will mean.
Wireless usage rates keep rising. The average wireless subscriber currently uses 2.4 GB of data per month, but by 2020 they expect it to jump to 14 GB per month. More than two-thirds of this is used for data-heavy video streaming, and this traffic is expected to grow by 55% every year over the next five years.
5G is designed for video, according to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who’s made it very clear that testing will soon begin and the commercial roll out is on schedule for 2017.
What about the Competitors?
AT&T seems pretty dubious of Verizon’s 5G claims: “”We as an industry have been really good at over-promising and under-delivering when it comes to new technology,” claimed AT&T’s chief executive of AT&T Mobility, Glenn Lurie.
It’s worth noting that AT&T felt the same way about 4G. The big beef AT&T has is the lack of standards for the new technology. Verizon understands this concern and has worked with Ericsson, Qualcomm and Cisco to create universal standards.
Verizon will soon start testing the technology internally then in markets. So we’ll have to wait and see what sort of speeds and benefits these tests yield. One thing that seems certain is the demand for wireless for streaming video will only increase. With streaming services providing more and more entertainment offerings and cut-cording remaining in style, 5G can’t come soon enough.
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