To cope with the huge influx of connected devices that will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT), a new level of wireless internet connectivity will be required.
Fast forward to year 2020, i.e. five years from now, and hopefully the world of the future, filled with driver-less cars and pilot-less drones, is running smoothly and all of this will be built on one critical piece of technology - 5G.
At the moment, most of us are still getting to grips with 4G speeds on their smartphones. To start talking about 5G right now might seem a little presumptuous but the impact it could have on our lives could be as big as the transition from 2G to 3G.
Here are 10 things you should know about 5G to whet your appetite ahead of the launch early next decade.
1. It's going to be ridiculously fast
Think being able to download a full length movie to your smartphone in a second and you've got some idea of what the uplift in speed will be like come 2020. Samsung already set a mobile speed record of 7.5Gb/s in a 5G trial in October 2014 and most estimates expect the average speed of 5G networks to reach 10Gb/s and with transfer rates as high as a whopping 800Gb/s achievable down the line..
Forget 4K quality films, as by 2020 we will all be hankering for 8K films in 3D (16 times the pixel count of full HD) and the uplift in speed will make all this possible (at least in theory). It'll be that fast you might not even need that expensive fibre-optic connection. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has already proposed a 100Mb/s-to-1Gb/s user experienced data rate for 5G with a 20Gb/s peak data rate and as an early indication those speeds are already way beyond what is already available.
Before we can even think about those speeds becoming a reality the ITU has a huge job on its hands to completely restructure all parts of the existing spectrum and harmonise them so that they support the rollout of 5G technology worldwide.
The move would mean that mobile internet access would not be restricted to one country for a user like it is today for 4G/LTE. Harmonisation, however, is often more about politics than it is about technology with countries often putting their pride before sense with the customer being often at the receiving end.
Hopefully, the times when your mobile signal would be faulty along international borders could soon be a thing of the past. It's an incredibly important step to take to ensure 5G speeds not only remain constant but also functional at all of the time.
2. The rise of the Internet of Things
5G will be a much smarter way for devices to access the internet and the rollout has as much to do with the growth of IoT devices as it does anything else. Whilst 5G is ready to become the smartest network ever, the devices that connect to it will have to be too.
Everything from washing machines, smart meters, traffic cameras, driverless cars, smart roads and sensors attached to trees will be buzzing data to each other over the network at all times. Gartner's recent estimates of 25 billion connected "Things" by 2020 goes to show just how extensive the network will need to be to cope and it's hoped 5G will be that safety net to make things go smoothly.
All those many billions of "things" communicating with each other combined with the new 5G speeds means that those smart cities constantly talked about at tech events the world over will finally become a reality (or at least everybody in the tech industry is betting on that).
Glasgow is already rolling out a £24 million project to put sensors on streetlights and traffic lights that integrate with the existing CCTV network so that you know when bulbs need replacing amongst other things. This is just the start and when everything is communicating together successfully and in unison thanks to 5G, smart cities might finally flourish.
3. Huge increase in bandwidth capacity
All those new devices means that capacity will be one of the biggest needs for 5G to address and one estimate from the analyst community reckons that it has the potential to bring capacity that is 1,000 times higher than it is currently.
Other vendors put the capacity at somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times larger than the current state and combined with the new "things", it's the largest use case that has so far been put forward by companies attempting to justify why we need 5G.
Perhaps the most tantalising example of how 5G could transform our lives is in transportation. A future world where none of us need to even drive our own cars is finally on the way.
Collision detection, real-time navigation, remote traffic management and automatic breaking systems are just some of the innovations that will be made possible by the implementation of 5G networks. 5G is not critical for driverless cars but having it will help significantly .
4. "It won't break"
One of the boldest predictions of any is that 5G will dispel all reliability issues and deliver a network that "doesn't break". A study released by Ericsson midway through 2014, includes "exceptionally high reliability" in a list of features that next generation networks will be able to support when they are eventually rolled out.
The latency of 5G is expected to be just a single millisecond (50 times faster than 4G) and the reliability factor is something that driverless cars and connected "things" will need for their usage to reach the heady figures mentioned earlier.
After all those points and the expectation of what 5G might end up becoming, we are still miles away from a harmonised set of rules that will influence the most important factor of them all - speed. We should get that later on this year when the ITU has concluded its studies and from there on, it'll be a mighty fast four and a half years until 5G starts to rollout.
5. Europe to "leapfrog" them all?
UK consumers aren't expected to see it rollout until around 2020 at the very earliest with the price of the technology likely to be too high for anything to take place before later that decade. KT Telecom, however, has other ideas and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang could indeed see the first commercial rollout of the technology.
CEO Chang-Guy Hwang told a gathering at the Mobile World Congress 2015 that it would be the first commercial rollout of its kind and, even though Nokia Networks CEO Rajeev Suri dampened this by calling it a trial network, it's still a big step for the games that take place in under three years time.
Even though Korea looks like being the first country to see a trial of the technology, Europe could be at the front of the queue for any commercial roll out if Nokia Networks CEO, Rajeev Suri, is to be believed. "But, Korea could be first with 5G, followed by Japan and then the US. However, Europe could leapfrog all of these," he said at MWC 2015. Get excited UK!