What is 5G? Everything you need to know

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What is 5G?

5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.

Combining cutting-edge network technology and the very latest research, 5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps expected to soon be the norm.

The networks will help power a huge rise in Internet of Things technology, providing the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world.

With development well underway, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world by 2020, working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you are.

When will 5G launch?

- 5G technology is expected to officially launch across the world by 2020

- The US, China and South Korea are expected to be some of the first nations to install full 5G networks, with others including the UK not far behind

- Many companies are busy making sure their networks and devices are '5G ready' in time for 2020, meaning some networks may launch before then

5G - the latest news

06/12 - ANALYSIS - Vodafone Business rebrand highlights strategic focus in 5G era - Vodafone Enterprise is now Vodafone Business...

06/12 - POLICY - EU approves new regulations to boost 5G rollout - EU passes new code despite industry opposition...

06/12 - PRODUCTS - OnePlus CEO confirms its 5G phone will cost $200 to $300 more than OnePlus 6T - But it isn't done with 4G devices...

06/12 - NETWORKS - We need rigorous 5G testing before we get in the driverless car - Autonomous vehicles will rely heavily on next generation networks...

05/12 - PRODUCTS - OnePlus will be the first to release a 5G phone in Europe - It's all thanks to some help from EE...

05/12 - NETWORKS - How 5G technologies can be implemented more efficiently - Knowing where to place 'small cells' will make all the difference...

05/12 - DEVICES - This Samsung 5G prototype phone has a notch... but it's in the corner - Updated with an official comment from Samsung...

04/12 - DEVICES - Here's the first 5G smartphone and, no, you can't buy it - It's a reference device from Qualcomm, but it promises a lot...

04/12 - NETWORKS - Nokia and Qualcomm complete 5G call interoperability tests - Another 5G testing hurdle is cleared ahead of launch...

04/12 - NETWORKS - Arqiva and CityFibre to build 5G small cell network in London - Hammersmith & Fulham will host UK's largest pilot to date...

04/12 - ANALYSIS - 2019 telecoms forecast: the year of 5G and open source - Canonical takes a look at some of the most important trends for next year...

04/12 - NETWORKS - MI6 chief warns UK on role of China in 5G networks - Alex Younger says there needs to be a conversation about Huawei's role...

03/12 - NETWORKS - Three Korean operators launch 5G networks - Operators bring forward South Korea 5G launch...

03/12 - DEVICES - Verizon and Samsung to launch 5G smartphone in 2019 - Companies will show off PoC this week...

29/11 - PRODUCTS - Toyota's new humanoid robot can be controlled remotely via 5G - A helping hand from afar...

29/11 - NETWORKS - 5G will require mobile operators to rethink the role of Wi-Fi - Operators may need to de-prioritise Wi-Fi in 5G era...

28/11 - NETWORKS - New Zealand 'blocks' use of Huawei 5G kit - Spark application rejected by New Zealand government...

27/11 - NETWORKS - 5G will have 'fastest ever' global rollout - Ericsson Mobility Report says Europe will fall behind without market changes...

23/11 - NETWORKS - O2 gears up for 5G with Massive MIMO trial - O2 trials technology in London head of 5G launch...

22/11 - NETWORKS - Huawei boasts of 22 5G commercial contracts - Head of Huawei carrier business touts end-to-end capabilities of its equipment...

22/11 - NETWORKS - Nokia creates Access Networks Division for end-to-end 5G - Nokia hopes organisational changes will give it 5G advantage...

21/11 - NETWORKS - EE and BT Sport plan UK's first 5G sport broadcast - EE Wembley Cup will be transmitted via 5G...

20/11 - HARDWARE - Huawei urges operators to trust its 5G vision as it shifts 10,000 base stations - Huawei Chairman Ken Hu details 'Cloud X' vision...

20/11 - NETWORKS - Three: 5G wireless broadband can be genuine alternative to fibre - Three-commissioned report touts price-saving benefits of 5G FWA...

20/11 - DEVICES - OnePlus could charge a high price for its upcoming 5G phone - Price tag for superfast device could be up to $100 more...

19/11 - NETWORKS - Faroese Telecom wants to bring 5G to Shetland - Shetland confirms talks with Faroese mobile provider...

16/11 - ANALYSIS - The week that UK 5G transformed from hype into reality - UK operators detail more about 5G launches in 2019...

16/11 - ANALYSIS - 2025: the year of 5G entertainment - Intel's Alex Gledhill tells us how 5G can benefit all areas of work and life...

15/11 - RESEARCH - Samsung invests $22bn in AI and 5G - Korean tech giant aims to control 20 per cent of the network equipment market...

15/11 - NETWORKS - US begins auction of 5G spectrum - US operators bid for high range spectrum to power mobile broadband services..

15/11 - HARDWARE - German government 'urged' to consider Huawei 5G ban - Reports suggest push could have come too late...

14/11 - DEVICES - Verizon connects a smartphone to its 5G network - Verizon is currently the world's only commercial 5G operator...

13/11 - PRODUCTS - Intel will launch 5G modem next year - Chipmaker speeds up plans for 5G modem launch in 2019...

13/11 - NETWORKS - EE to launch 5G as 'premium' mobile experience in 16 UK cities in 2019 - Operator to upgrade 1,500 sites in the busiest parts of its network...

12/11 - DEVICES - OnePlus 7 may not be the upcoming 5G phone from the brand - Is a whole new OnePlus line on the way?

09/11 - NETWORKS - What role will 5G play in NBN's gigabit broadband vision? - 5G can boost FWA broadband to gigabit levels...

08/11 - POLICY - Ofcom CTO: Spectrum and security are biggest 5G challenges - Ofcom CTO Mansoor Hanif discusses the barriers to fulfilling 5G potential...

07/11 - NETWORKS - EE announces UK 5G trial expansion - Nine east London sites are now linked up to EE's 5G trial network...

07/11 - NETWORKS - How 5G will enable the next generation of IoT deployments - Canonical head tells us why next-generation networks are the key to innovation...

07/11 - NETWORKS - Three reveals £2bn UK 5G investment - 5G set to be a "game-changer" in the UK says Three CEO Dave Dyson...

06/11 - DEVICES - UK operators urged to 'consider' 5G equipment suppliers - Government aims to ensure UK's telecoms infrastructure is secure...

06/11 - NETWORKS - GSMA: Operators need prime spectrum to fulfill 5G potential - Industry body publishes paper ahead of WRC-19...

05/11 - NETWORKS - 5G operator revenues to reach £230bn by 2025 - Research suggests £46bn in 5G R&D will be well spent...

03/11 - DEVICES - Apple tipped to launch a 5G iPhone in 2020 - Super-fast speeds on the way...

31/10 - NETWORKS - BT CTO: Convergence of fibre, 5G and Wi-Fi will create 'one network to rule them all' - Howard Watson believes convergence will be a key differentiatior in telecoms...

30/10 - DEVICES - Oppo wants to release the first 5G smartphone - Oppo wants to beat LG to the punch after successful 5G tests...

30/10 - NETWORKS - Budget 2018: More funding for rural fibre but no new 5G commitments - Digital infrastructure largely a footnote in 2018 Budget...

26/10 - NETWORKS - Trump lays out US 5G strategy - Order looks to ease progress towards 5G network deployment in the US...

25/10 - PRODUCTS - Qualcomm works with Samsung on 5G small cells - Qualcomm and Samsung look to establish 5G leadership...

25/10 - NETWORKS - Vodafone switches on 'full 5G' trial in Manchester - Salford's MediaCity UK gets 5G coverage as Vodafone shapes up next-gen network...

23/10 - DEVICES - OnePlus 7 or OnePlus 7T will be first from company to support 5G - 2019 is the year OnePlus adopts 5G...

22/10 - NETWORKS - EU could back Wi-Fi over 5G for connected cars - Draft proposals could see Wi-Fi rules set before 5G...

19/10 - DEVICES - Operators may have to subsidise 'expensive' 5G smartphones - Early 5G smartphones could be too expensive for consumers...

19/10 - PRODUCTS - Huawei 5G folding phone could take on the Samsung Galaxy X in 2019 - Huawei knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em...

18/10 - NETWORKS - Ericsson sales boosted by early 5G adoption - Ericsson feels flush from operator investment...

17/10 - PRODUCTS - Samsung buys Zhilabs to power 5G analytics - Samsung's 5G efforts continue with purchase of analytics experts...

16/10 - NETWORKS - European mobile giants urge pro-5G investment policies - Leading CEOs urge EU regulators to consider importance of connectivity...

15/10 - PRODUCTS - US senators urge Canada to 'ban' Huawei from 5G deployment - US senators fear Huawei kit could harm US national security...

12/10 - PRODUCTS - New Nokia kit promises more rapid and effective 5G FWA deployments - Operators can get new high gain antennas and gateways...

12/10 - NETWORKS - Deutsche Telekom plots 99 per cent 5G coverage by 2025 - German operator details plans for 5G rollout...

08/10 - ANALYSIS - Differences in early 5G services will make it a 'marketing headache' - Analysts predict difficulties in 5G marketing as mobile broadband will be key adoption driver...

05/10 - NETWORKS - EE switches on 'UK's first' 5G trial network at Canary Wharf - EE gears up for 2019 5G launch...

04/10 - NETWORKS - Huawei tells FCC that US ban could mean country falls behind in 5G - Huawei hasn't given up hope in playing US 5G role...

01/10 - INNOVATION - Samsung partners with AT&T to build a 5G tech lab - Facility will research ways 5G could improve manufacturing...

01/10 - NETWORKS - Verizon turns on the world's first 5G network - Launch across four US cities could be a major landmark in the development of 5G...

28/09 - NETWORKS - Digital Catapult switches on Brighton 5G testbed - UK's latest 5G testbed goes live on the South Coast...

26/09 - ANALYSIS - Could 5G networks herald the arrival of a four-day work week? Increased productivity as a result of 5G powered technologies could disrupt the traditional work week...

25/09 - DEVICES - Manufacturers hope 5G and foldable displays will drive smartphone growth - Analysts believe the smartphone will be unrecognisable by 2027...

24/09 - NETWORKS - WIG raises £220m for 5G infrastructure - WIG to use additional funding for small cells and fibre...

21/09 - NETWORKS - Vodafone targets cities and rural areas for 2019 5G launch - Cornwall and the Lake District will be first to get Vodafone 5G...

12/09 - NETWORKS - T-Mobile signs $3.5bn 5G network deal with Ericsson - T-Mobile secures second major 5G equipment deal...

11/09 - NETWORKS - EE could launch the UK's first 5G network in 2019 - EE reallocates 3G spectrum ahead of 2019 5G launch...

11/09 - NETWORKS - European mobile operators bring forward 5G plans - Global 5G connections to reach 340m by 2021 as European optimism increases forecasts...

11/09 - GAMING - Nvidia shows how GeForce Now 5G streaming could make high-end gaming hardware irrelevant - Hitting 60 fps in Full HD resolution with no need for a beefy gaming laptop...

10/09 - NETWORKS - CityFibre SDN rollout to speed up 5G deployments and enable 10Gbps - CityFibre agrees deal with Calix to smarten its network..

10/09 - NETWORKS - Ericsson radio updates and transport partnerships to accelerate 5G deployments - Ericsson says a series of developments will make it easier and quicker to deploy 5G...

08/09 - NETWORKS - How 5G will make our streaming dreams come true - Zero buffering, no waiting. Will 5G lead the way?

07/09 - FEATURE - Inside the 5G factory: How Nokia's research aids its own production - Nokia's Oulu facility has been involved in every generation of mobile technology...

05/09 - NETWORKS - San Marino will have Europe's first 5G network - Microstate will be a testbed for TIM...

05/09 - NETWORKS - China considers merging two major mobile operators in 5G push - Merger would create world's second largest mobile operator...

04/09 - PRODUCTS - UK''s 'first' large-scale 5G hub to test digital health apps in 2019 - West Midlands will become UK's first 5G hub...

31/08 - ANALYSIS - Golf's digital ambitions make it an unlikely 5G pioneer - Golf looks to new technologies - including 5G...

31/08 - NETWORKS - German operators will have no rural obligation for 5G - 5G spectrum auction will take place in 2019...

30/08 - DEVICES - Larger screens and 5G to drive smartphone growth through to 2022 - Smartphone market 'generally healthy' despite recent dip...

28/08 - NETWORKS - German regulator calls for fourth operator for 5G - Competition chief believes new entrant will kickstart German 5G...

28/08 - NETWORKS - Nokia secures €500m EU loan for 5G research - New funding will accelerate 5G technology R&D...

23/08 - NETWORKS - Major 5G trends become more apparent as first network launch nears - The past seven days have been a long time in the world of 5G...

23/08 - ANALYSIS - Huawei & ZTE banned from Australia 5G networks - Australian government says 5G architecture makes it too risky...

22/08 - PRODUCTS - Qualcomm to start shipping its 5G modems - However chipmaker says it doesn't expect 5G phones to launch this year...

22/08 - NETWORKS - Speed takes centre stage as operators ramp up 5G testing - Report suggests 82 per cent of mobile operators worldwide are testing 5G...

22/08 - DEVICES - Nokia expects to make €3 from every 5G smartphone - Finnish giant sets rate for its essential 5G patents...

20/08 - NETWORKS - Government to test 5G on UK railways - DCMS invites participants for pilot to see how 5G can improve transport sector...

20/08 - NETWORKS - Verizon and Nokia test 5G with a moving vehicle - Partners make progress in mobile broadband and connected car apps...

17/08 - NETWORKS - 5G network slicing could be worth £51bn to mobile operators - Researchers say efforts by operators and vendors could bear fruit...

16/08 - NETWORKS - Cisco posts healthy revenues ahead of 5G push - Cisco is happy with innovation roadmap as it prepares for next generation networks...

16/08 - NETWORKS - Telstra switches on 5G for the Gold Coast, but wider availability remains murky - Australian telcos Optus and Vodafone say there’s a long road ahead...

15/08 - NETWORKS - O2 tests light-based wireless transmission ahead of 5G tests - Li-Fi is pitched as a Wi-Fi alternative...

15/08 - DEVICES - LG to launch 'first 5G smartphone' in 2019 - LG and Sprint will release a 5G-ready device in the US next year...

13/08 - NETWORKS - Ericsson hopes US 5G investments will speed up deployments - Ericsson makes investments in 5G R&D...

08/08 - NETWORKS - Samsung invests billions in 5G and AI - Samsung's £17bn investment programme looks to guard against smartphone slowdown...

07/08 - NETWORKS - US set to lose out to China in 5G race - Deloitte report urges policymakers to promote investment...

02/08 - DEVICES - Moto Z3 is the world's first 5G-upgradable smartphone, say Motorola and Verizon - The first 5G-almost-ready smartphone...

02/08 - OPERATORS - Three focuses on 5G after revenue and customer rises - Three now boasts 10.1m customers across the UK...

(Image: © O2)

31/07 - DEVICES - Lenovo says it'll be the first to launch a 5G smartphone - Could be here before the end of the year...

30/07 - NETWORKS - Nokia and T-Mobile ink $3.5bn 5G network deal - US operator presses ahead with 5G rollout plans...

27/07 - OPERATORS - Mobile helps BT Q1 results ahead of 5G trials - Consumer division continues to offset BT business decline...

26/07 - OPERATORS - O2 invites FTSE 500 to trial its 5G - O2 presses ahead with 5G tests as it adds more customers...

26/07 - OPERATORS - Nokia looks to 5G after sales slowdown - Nokia says drop is to be expected but is confident for second half of 2018...

26/07 - OPERATORS - Sky Mobile extends O2 MVNO agreement to cover 5G - Sky Mobile now has 500,000 customers across the UK...

23/07 - REGULATION - UK Government promises new regulations and investment for full fibre and 5G - Government report outlines plans to deliver fibre to entire UK by 2033...

23/07 - PRODUCTS - Qualcomm's mmWave antennas pave way for first 5G smartphones - The first 5G smartphones should arrive in 2019...

20/07 - NETWORKS - Barriers to 5G could stop UK being a global leader - BSG report identifies issues and resolutions...

18/07 - NETWORKS - South Korea plans 2019 5G launch - "Korea 5G Day" will see new networks introduced a year ahead of schedule...

10/07 - NETWORKS - China Mobile, Intel and Huawei complete 5G interoperability testing - Tests pave way for China Mobile 5G launch next year...

09/07 - NETWORKS - SSE Enterprise Telecoms unbundles BT exchanges to boost broadband and Three 5G - SSE Enterprise Telecoms doubles its reach...

03/07 - NETWORKS - Samsung, Cisco and Orange hold multi-vendor 5G FWA trial - FWA will deliver a fixed-like broadband experience when 5G launches...

29/06 - DEVICES - OnePlus 7 could support 5G and be sold by US carriers - But don't expect it for a while...

28/06 - NETWORKS - "World's first" 5G network launches - Finnish operator Elisa claims global first in launching a commercial 5G network...

27/06  - ANALYSIS - The World Cup and 5G: the trials you need to know about - 5G will change how you watch football forever...

25/06 - NETWORKS - UK 'needs shared spectrum' for 5G - Ofcom urged to rethink 5G spectrum auction to ensure fairer rollout...

20/06 - NETWORKS - Vodafone launches 5G trials in seven UK cities - Vodafone to hold trials later this year with plans for a 2020 5G launch...

19/06 - NETWORKS - Mobile signal woes 'strengthens' business case for 5G - Only half of mobile users in the UK are happy with their speeds, but willing to pay more for faster service...

15/06 - NETWORKS - First standalone 5G network standard approved - 3GPP finalizes 'Release 15' of 5G after three years of work, meaning networks are on the way this year...

14/06 - ANALYSIS - Three CEO: 5G capacity is a 'big opportunity' to lead UK market - Dave Dyson says Three's spectrum holdings mean it could be the UK's 5G leader...

13/06 - NETWORKS - Vodafone: 5G smartphone uncertainty means focus on core network and IoT - Vodafone UK CTO says 5G will be a gamechanger, but smartphone innovation in the 4G era won't be matched...

12/06 - NETWORKS - 5G networks still set to arrive this year - Ericsson report suggests Europe will fall behind US and Asia on 5G adoption...

11/06 - NETWORKS - 'First ever' UK 5G report paints rosy picture - UK's 5G ambitions rely heavily on startup and research community...

06/06 - ANALYSIS - EU telecoms rule changes will hinder rather than help 5G, claim industry - Telecoms groups label the new EU code a "missed opportunity"...

06/06 - NETWORKS - EE to switch on 'UK's first' 5G trial in London - Residents and businesses in Tech City will get chance to try out 5G...

05/06 - PRODUCTS - 5G PCs coming from Intel and Sprint next year - US telecoms giant Sprint has joined the race to bring 5G to the masses, announcing at Computex 2018 to start shipping Intel-powered 5G computers next year...

01/06 - ANALYSIS - 5G UK - How far away are we really? - 5G will deliver immediate benefits in 2019, but the true mobile revolution will take time...

25/05 - POLICY - Mobile industry 'shouldn't wait' for 5G to roll out small cells - Small cells will be essential for delivering the 5G vision but industry warns there is no time too wait...

25/05 - POLICY - Nordic Prime Ministers reach agreement to support 5G - Joint agreement is welcomed by Nokia, Ericsson and regional operators...

22/05 - NETWORKS - Qualcomm details 5G small cell platform - Qualcomm wants to help operators and network equipment manufacturers densify 5G networks...

18/05 - NETWORKS - Verizon to bring 5G to Los Angeles in 2018 - Verizon says America's second largest city will be its next 5G location...

16/05 - NETWORKS - Mobile IoT networks to be a 'core component' of 5G - GSMA says NB-IoT and LTE-M deployments are paving the way for massive IoT powered by 5G...

14/05 - NETWORKS - 5G and network convergence drives growth of carrier-grade Wi-Fi market - Fixed and mobile operators look to densify network infrastructure...

08/05 - PRODUCTS - Why self-driving vehicles could be the biggest winner in a 5G world - Telefónica tells us why autonomous vehicles are set to be a key 5G use case...

08/05 - NETWORKS - Verizon and Samsung get 5G regulatory boost - Verizon and Samsung make major headway towards 5G...

03/05 - NETWORKS - Deutsche Telekom holds live 5G NR trial in Berlin - German operator says test will see how 5G NR behaves in real world...

02/05 - ANALYSIS - Why T-Mobile and Sprint merger would give the US a 5G lead - A truly national 5G network could ensure the US retains its advantage...

01/05 - NETWORKS - Three futureproofs backend infrastructure for 5G - Three and SSE Enterprise Telecoms deal with start with data centre connectivity...

30/04 - NETWORKS - T-Mobile and Sprint merger promises 5G progress in the US - America's third and fourth largest mobile operators are to merge...

18/04 - NETWORKS - Huawei dampens 5G expectations - Huawei CEO says consumer might not notice the differences...

17/04 - NETWORKS - China has narrow lead over US in 5G race - Government support and industry momentum gives China slight advantage, report says...

16/04 - DEVICES - 5G anticipation set to slow smartphone sales - Manufacturers hope for 5G boost as worldwide smartphone demand slows...

13/04 - NETWORKS - What does the Ofcom 5G auction mean for the UK mobile industry? - The long-awaited auction is over, paving the way for 5G...so what next?

12/04 - NETWORKS - Vodafone hits major UK 5G milestone - Vodafone is first UK operator to test 3.4GHz spectrum in preparation for 5G...

09/04 - NETWORKS - Europe set be left behind in 5G race - US and Asia will lead the way in 5G development, claims report...

05/04 - NETWORKS - Mobile networks fork out £1.4bn for 5G spectrum - Ofcom publishes the results of its 5G spectrum auction, revealing that the UK's biggest mobile network operators spent almost £1.4 billion...

28/03 - NETWORKS - 'World's first' 5G public trial switched on in Australia - Australian telco Telstra flips the switch on the world's first public trial of 5G at the Gold Coast...

28/03 - NETWORKS - 5G RuralFirst looks at smart farming, spectrum sharing and broadcasting - Government funded project will use Cisco tech to help transform rural lives...

28/03 - POLICY - UK5G group makes bid for global 5G leadership - Government and industry backed UK5G looks to establish UK 5G community...

27/03 - NETWORKS - GSMA: 5G will be dominant mobile tech in USA by 2025 - Mobile industry body report shows US will be a 5G leader...

27/03 - NETWORKS - Telefonica tests tech that could boost 5G broadband - Telefonica spectral efficiency trials hope to pave the way for better fixed wireless access (FWA)... 

23/03 - NETWORKS - 5G networks are now just a year away - Korea Telecom plans commercial 5G launch next March...

20/03 - NETWORKS - UK 5G spectrum auction gets underway - Five bidders will battle it out for more of the UK's airwaves...

19/03 - NETWORKS - UK university makes major 5G breakthrough - University of Kent-based iCIRRUS consortium says Ethernet equipment can help deliver 5G networks...

16/03 - NETWORKS - O2 kickstarts the UK's 5G charm offensive to consumers - 5G hypetrain moves from industry into the mainstream...

15/03 - NETWORKS - Digital minister pledges to eliminate barriers to 5G deployment - Margot James says she wants to work with mobile operators and local government on 5G...

14/03 - NETWORKS - O2: 5G will save local councils and households £6bn a year - Report details how smart technologies powered by 5G can improve society...

12/03 - NETWORKS - Ofcom 5G spectrum auction will start next week - Ofcom confirms that bidding for 5G frequencies will begin on 20 March...

12/03 - NETWORKS - Government reveals £25m prize fund for UK 5G - £25m competition will see 5G testbeds located across the UK...

11/03 - DEVICES - 5G a key factor to seamless VR experience, says Lenovo EMEA President - Lenovo wants to create memorable experiences for its customers, but is that enough?

09/03 - NETWORKS - Ofcom plans new rural coverage obligations for 700MHz spectrum - Ofcom says 700MHz is an important opportunity to improve rural coverage as it plans for 5G future...

05/03 - NETWORKS - EU Parliament and US Congress take steps to accelerate 5G legislation - EU chambers reach provisional agreement while US Congress to vote on spectrum auction...

05/03 - DEVICES - HTC CEO: 5G will turn any VR device into the most powerful in the world - Cher Wang says the smartphone still has a role to play in VR...

03/03 - NETWORKS - Qualcomm hopes 5G vision will stand out from the hype - Qualcomm's influence in the industry is significant, so its 5G roadmap is worth listening too...

02/03 - NETWORKS - BT CEO: EE convergence even more important ahead of 5G - Gavin Patterson says BT never really left mobile and is preparing for converged network era...

28/02 - NETWORKS - Intel and NTT DoCoMo prepare 5G plans for Tokyo 2020 Olympics - After success at PyeongChang 2018, Intel is stepping up plans for next Olympics...

27/02 - NETWORKS - Satellite-supported UK 5G testbed will trial mission critical apps - Juniper Networks and Satellite Applications Catapult say satellite cannot be ignored...

27/02 - MOBILE - Qualcomm looks to make it easier to make 5G phones - Launch will help OEMs build 5G connectivity into more devices...

27/02 - NETWORKS - Ofcom confirms six bidders for 5G spectrum - All four mobile operators have been approved, with small cell operator and Hull fixed wireless firm joining...

27/02 - NETWORKS - Ericsson tells operators: 5G is ready - Ericsson has agreements with 38 operators around the world as 5G moves from idea to reality...

27/02 - PRODUCTS - Get ready for a 5G Internet of the Sky - Drones like the Ehang 184 will usher in a 5G-powered autonomous airspace...

26/02 - NETWORKS - Telstra plans to ramp up 4G speeds in the lead up to its full 5G rollout - Major cities in Australia to get increased bandwidth...

26/02 - NETWORKS - Cisco targets mobile operators with '5G Now' - Cisco wants to help operators prepare for the next era of networks...

25/02 - MOBILE - Huawei reveals 5G-ready modem - Test beds for 5G networks will be launched this year, Huawei reveals...

23/02 - NETWORKS - Why PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics are a 5G milestone - Athletes are making history at the Winter Olympics, but it's an important event for 5G networks too...

22/02 - NETWORKS - O2 reveals UK 5G test bed - Operator will test 5G applications at iconic London venue later this year...

19/02 - NETWORKS - Vodafone and Huawei successfully test IP Microwave backhaul for 5G - Vodafone and Huawei achieve 2Gbps on IP microwave link, claiming it shows the tech is viable for 5G...

16/02 - NETWORKS - Why startups and research can make the UK a 5G leader - Does the UK really need to be first to the mark or be an industry powerhouse to be a 5G leader?

16/02 - OPINION - No time to waste now 5G legal challenges are over - For an industry keen to avoid a repeat of the 3G and 4G auctions, Three's failed appeal removes a barrier to 5G...

14/02 - MOBILE - Fiber-like internet and a glimpse of our 5G future are coming to smartphones in 2019 - Qualcomm's new mobile modem offering speeds of up to 2Gbps...

14/02 - NETWORKS - 5G spectrum auction to go ahead after Three's legal challenge fails - Three's bid to decrease an overall spectrum cap falls on deaf ears and prevents further delay...

12/02 - NETWORKS - China Mobile plans 5G launch in 2019 - China Mobile joins a select few number of operators planning to beat original 2020 target...

08/02 - MOBILE - The first 5G smartphones are coming in 2019 - But you won't see 5G service everywhere by next year...

07/02 - MOBILE - 5G set to push mobile data use sky-high - Giffgaff research estimates customers will use nearly 100GB of mobile data a month by 2025...

05/-2 - NETWORKS - Telstra joins Optus on 5G bandwagon, also aiming for 2019 rollout - Australian carrier Telstra will trial new tech during Commonwealth Games...

05/01 - NETWORKS - AT&T set to run 5G trials - Company to adopt new 3GPP guidelines as it continues push for next-generation networks...

04/01 - NETWORKS - Samsung teams up with Verizon on 5G - New service to be launched in Sacramento later this year...

02/02 - NETWORKS - Optus 5G network rollout set to begin in early 2019 - Australian telco Optus announces its plans for 5G rollout...

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What will 5G networks mean for me?

  • Faster download and upload speeds
  • Smoother streaming of online content 
  • Higher-quality voice and video calls 
  • More reliable mobile connections
  • Greater number of connected IoT devices 
  • An expansion of advanced technologies - including self-driving cars and smart cities

How fast will 5G be?

It’s still not exactly known how much faster 5G will be than 4G, as much of the technology is still under development.

That being said, the networks should provide a significant upgrade to current download and upload speeds - with the GSMA proposing minimum download speeds of around 1GBps.

Most estimates expect the average speed of 5G networks to reach 10Gb/s, and some even think transfer rates could reach a whopping 800Gb/s.

This would mean that users could download a full-length HD quality film in a matter of seconds, and that downloading and installing software upgrades would be completed much faster than today.

Will I be able to get 5G networks on my phone?

Existing smartphones, tablet or other devices that were released when 4G networks were the standard may not be able to connect to 5G to begin with, or may incur extra costs to do so. 

However following the 2020 deadline for the initial rollout, we should soon see devices coming with 5G connection as default.

Don't worry though - although 5G should represent a major step up from current 4G and 3G networks, the new technology won’t immediately replace its predecessor - at least, not to begin with.

Instead, 5G should link in with existing networks to ensure users never lose connection, with the older networks acting as back-up in areas not covered by the new 5G coverage.

So-called “4.5G” networks (also known as LTE-A) are set to fill the gap for the time being, offering connections that are faster than current 4G networks, although only certain countries such as South Korea can benefit from them right now.

Once launched however, implementing 5G may be a slower process. Much like the gradual takeover of 4G networks from the previous generation, existing network infrastructure may need to be upgraded or even replaced in order to deal with the new technology, and homes and businesses may also need to get new services installed.

It’s not yet known how 5G networks will take over from existing networks, but again, much like the rollout of 4G, you may not be able to immediately connect to the new networks without upgrading your technology.

What will a 5G network need?

The GSMA has outlined eight criteria for 5G networks, with a connection needing meet a majority of these in order to qualify as 5G:

  • 1-10Gbps connections to end points in the field (i.e. not theoretical maximum)
  • 1 millisecond end-to-end round trip delay (latency) 
  • 1000x bandwidth per unit area
  • 10-100x number of connected devices 
  • (Perception of) 99.999 per cent availability 
  • (Perception of) 100 per cent coverage
  • 90 per cent reduction in network energy usage 
  • Up to 10 year battery life for low power, machine-type devices