USA Today is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission voted to 5-0 to designate a large block of spectrum for next-generation 5G wireless broadband services. The move is seen as an effort to spur faster development of 5G technologies and to spur consumers to transition from traditional phone systems.
5G Will Be Many Times Faster Than 4G
According to industry experts, 5G is up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology and could supplant current wired broadband installations altogether in a few years’ time.
The proposed spectrum for 5G is higher than bands currently being used and includes the 28 Gigahertz, 37 GHz, and 39 GHz frequency ranges, which all can deliver more data than existing networks. FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler said about 5G, “”By becoming the first nation to identify high-band spectrum, the United States is ushering the 5G era of high-capacity, high-speed, low-latency wireless networks.”
Faster Speeds Available by 2018
5G and its testing are still relatively new. However, major testing trials and initial deployments for the new, faster networks are expected as early as 2018. This means that you might be able to experience insanely fast downloads at your local Starbucks in about 18 months or so.
Many industry and consumer groups have applauded the FCC’s decision and welcome the addition of networks that will provide higher speeds and more convenience for users.
In another recent 5-0 vote, the FCC updated regulations that now make it easier for telco providers to move from legacy phone networks to wireless or Internet-based voice networks. This all spells impending doom for traditional phone systems as we know them.
Traditional Phone Lines Dying a Slow Death
In the year 2000, more than 200 million American homes used traditional telephone lines. Today, that number has fallen to around 73 million, this according to FCC Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel. With so many American homes moving to wireless or Internet-based phone networks, it’s only a matter of time before regular landline telephones become relics of the past.
What do you think of 5G and other emerging wireless technologies? Do you think they will make life better with faster bandwidth transmissions? Or, do you think they open up the door to reduced privacy and other security concerns? Let me know what you think in the comments section.