Archived articles

What is 5g and when will we see it rolled out?

Mobile data use has almost doubled in the past two years, increasing 74 per cent alone in 2015 – taking the overall global figure averaging to around 3.7 exabytes per month. Which is an exorbitant amount.

The Main cause of this increase is the rise of video and audio streaming and all underwritten by the expectation of having a high-speed data connection at all times, even when away from WiFi.

With 4G now developed as a global standard for the immediate future in mobile markets, is the change to 5G welcome. What does that mean for the consumer?

How much faster is 5G?

In short the main advantages are marginally faster speeds and more capacity, due to a more resilient network.

At first, 5G will see average speeds of 100Mbps, which is not a huge improvement on the maximum for networks already using LTE-Advanced, which can deliver download speeds of between 30-50Mbps in real-world conditions. In lab conditions, 4G can handle up to a theoretical maximum of 150Mbps.

This maximum depends on the category of the device and connection, however. Category 4 LTE maxes out at 150Mbps, but Cat 9 goes up to a theoretical maximum of 450Mbps.

To Complicate everything a little further, due to the lack of a universal standard – you could see LTE-Advanced marketed as 5G, or 4G+, or LTE-Advanced+ or by some other undefined names.

How is it that much faster?

4G LTE-Advanced/5G splits the data into bands, each of which has its own particular limitations. By aggregating these different bands and pooling the bandwidth (essentially), the end-user should get speeds far closer to 100Mbps and beyond as the technology evolves.

When Is it expected to rollout?

In its current state 5G is expected to start rolling out in 2020 with a prediction that there will be 24 million 5G subscribers by 2021.

With live deployments not yet under way and technical terms still not yet defined, there's still time for everything to change again before 5G actually arrives – and of course, there's still time to introduce another completely name.

Further Reading

For more information please visit: