5G will be the fifth, and next iteration of the mobile data network.
It is the successor to the current 4G network that our mobile phones currently run on in Australia.
Like the 4G network and the previous iterations 3G and 2G, the fifth-generation network will unlock new possibilities for the state of the internet moving forward.
The 5G architecture will vastly improve the network speeds which will allow for the next generation of mobile devices to obtain even faster internet speeds.
Running on mobile data, 5G will be able to achieve the high speeds that greatly outweigh the maximum speeds of home broadband connections.
Can theoretically reach peak speeds of 20Gbps - while it's minimum speed of 1Gbps is still ten times faster than the what the NBN is offering at their maximum speed, which is 100Mbps.
Expected to be as quick as 1 millisecond - an almost instant response to issued commands. No more waiting for that video to "buffer" or gamers having significant lag. This will pave the way for safer self-driving cars, as they will have quicker reaction times. For comparisons, 4G has an average of 50 milliseconds latency.
While voice-commandeered hubs are the beginning, 5G will allow for many devices to be connected to the same network - allowing for the true 'Smart Home' experience, with a sophisticated technological ecosystem.
Telstra announced that their 5G network rollout will be split into three phases.
Optus has also announced that they are aiming for a 2019 release window for their 5G network rollout, but they have not yet divulged further information than that.
Vodafone has not publicly committed to a release schedule for their 5G network. However, they have recently launched their 4.9G network in New South Wales. While this is still in a “trial” period and is not yet available for commercial release, Vodafone are confident that the 4.9G network will help to bridge the gap between 4G and 5G and make the transition less noticeable for customers.
Mobile phones and other devices that has come out from 2018 and prior will not be able to run on and take advantage of the 5G network.
From 2019 onwards, you will find that manufacturer’s will be releasing mobile phones that may have the 5G capabilities. However, Telstra are not expecting the “full commercial deployment” of 5G until 2020. That means you won’t have to rush out and buy a new mobile phone.
We already see this with 4G internet, where Telstra has been experimenting with the Nighthawk M1 mobile router device, that basically works as a form of home internet. Instead of requiring a fixed-broadband connection, the Nighthawk instead provides wireless-home internet through the mobile phone towers. Working in the same way as your mobile phone, the Nighthawk router accepts a SIM card, with your monthly data limit dependant on the type of plan that you have purchased.
When 5G reaches the final phase of its rollout in 2020, and it becomes accessible for commercial use, these SIM-only internet routers will become more important in shaping the future of the internet ecosystem in Australia.
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Many industries will receive a huge boost with the integration of the 5G network, and even our homes will gain the capacity to be a lot 'smarter'.
The 'Internet of Things' is the definition given to a world where any and most devices will have some form of internet capabilities and be connected to the same connected network. For instance, in most homes you will probably have mobile phones, gaming consoles or smart TV's already integrated into your home internet network.
In the future, we could have fridges, ovens, lighting system and other household appliances with internet capabilities - these homes are called 'Smart Homes' and in time, most houses will probably become smart homes.
As more devices and innovations become possible; we will get closer to the 'Wireless Edge', a term used to describe when we have realised the full potential of 5G capabilities. It is unclear what exactly this will look like as new innovations are constantly being made; but the early glimpses makes for an exciting future ahead.
Telstra and Optus are planning to release the first 5g services in 2019. Vodafone is also testing 5g but at the time of writing had not commented on when it would be available.
The theoretical speeds of 5g are much faster than the current fastest NBN plan. And that includes FTTP broadband connections as well.
5g can handle speeds up to 20gbps, but with 1000's users on the network at the same time very few users will get that kind of speed.
Early estimates by the major telcos are saying that 5G network would cover more than 1 million homes and businesses.
5G theoretical speeds of up to 20Gbps. It's is anticipated that speeds of 10gbps will be highly achievable with spikes of faster speeds if the network congestion is not an issue.
Telstra & Optus started working on 5g networks. Telstra is aiming to launch its 5g network in 2019. Optus is aiming for 2019 - 2020.
Not at this stage. Some telcos are still phasing out the 2g network, so 4g is here to stay for some time. The 4g network will continue to be upgraded with Telstra stating to rollout 2Gbps enabled 4G in high mobile traffic areas during 2018.
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