When 5G comes these alien pods will appear all over town

Here's what 5G will look like around town
A glimpse of the future

5G is tipped to hit consumers by 2020, and one of the companies pioneering the new mobile standard already has a prototype base station to show off.

TechRadar was at Huawei's campus in Shenzhen, China where the firm was talking through all its projects, including 5G.

The futuristic antenna, dubbed Ultra Node, could be coming to a rooftop or lamppost near you within the next 10 years, but what exactly 5G will offer is yet to be decided.

Huawei Ultra Node

A 5G future

5G standards are expected to be finalised at the end of 2015/ the start of 2016, but something it will be able to deliver is rapid data speeds of 10Gbps.

At that speed a HD movie would take just a couple of seconds - yes, seconds - to download. It will offer you a fibre-like connection, but of course without the wires.

You'll also be able to access 8K, 3D video over the superfast network - because 4K clearly isn't good enough - as well as a host of other services currently not supported by the current 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Huawei Ultra Node

Offerings such as social gaming, real time 3D streaming, VR and seamless connections on high speed transport are all being touted.

It's not just our mobiles which will benefit from the 5G network, with the new standard enabling billions of connections in the Internet of Things.

An example we saw showed off the impressive latency of the 5G network, allowing an autonomous car to make split second decisions to avoid collisions.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.