For the last 5 years, Verizon has been working to develop 5G technology with the aim of being the first carrier in the world to put this capability into customers’ hands. Now they’ve teamed up with Samsung to begin field testing their 5G equipment on Galaxy devices in Austin, Texas.
5G is still a good ways off from widespread use. As it stands, there’s not yet an agreed upon standard, and researchers remain divided regarding which set of systems is the most future-proof. Although formal standards will be developed by the 3GPP, Verizon has co-founded the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance to ensure that certain standards are maintained during the testing process.
Some are saying that this new network revolution will be game changing. Whatever system is put into place, the projected needs of future users are immense. As one expert put it, if 2G was a trickle, 3G was a stream, and 4G is a river, then what we need 5G to be is an ocean. Right now, researchers believe that 5G could be as much as 100 times faster than current LTE networks. These speeds would allow you to download an entire feature-length movie in just a few seconds. In early test environments, streaming 360-degree high resolution video over the network is seamless.
Testing is taking place indoors in a few Verizon “test beds” as well as in a 5G tech-equipped van that will be roving around for remote testing. The mobile carrier says they hope to have limited 5G networks up and running by 2017 with nation-wide ambitions by the following year. We’ve still got some time to wait, so while we’re doing so, why not tell us what you think about the coming 5G revolution in the comments below?