The race has well and truly begun. China, the United States, South Korea and a handful of telecommunications companies are rolling up their sleeves to develop, test and deploy the technology that will drive the world’s economy in the decade to come: 5G mobile communications networks. With 5G representing a great leap forward over its relatively pedestrian predecessors, countries and companies with ambitions in the field are well aware of the need to stay ahead of the pack for what is certain to be a strategic resource. And few countries have been as bullish on pursuing 5G as China – an ambition that has stoked more than a few fears in Washington.
As smartphones and other digital devices get smarter and more numerous — and as the applications they run generate ever more data — the wireless network that connects them must change to keep pace. That’s why telecommunications giants like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are racing to roll out the fifth generation of wireless network technology.
Being at the forefront of a new technology often provides a strategic advantage. That helps explain why there is so much scrapping now by companies and countries over a next wave of wireless technology known as 5G.
The future of cellular service is coming to a neighborhood near you. But who gets to decide when, where and how it gets delivered is still a heated fight. The new technology, known as 5G, delivers wireless internet at far faster speeds than existing cellular connections. But it also requires different hardware to deliver the signals.
It is no surprise that the way we communicate is changing. Walking around Nashville, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis or Omaha, you would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t have a cell phone, smartwatch or other connected device with them.