Since 5G represents more than just an incremental step in technology, but is trying to be the final solution to a global network of mobile data that will take us into the foreseeable future, there are many challenges to face and overcome. We’ve talked a little about the technical challenges. These are being met at development labs and testing facilities around the world, such as the 5G Centre at the University of Surrey, and at corporate development laboratories, with Nokia and Samsung leading the pack so far. Then there are political challenges, as we move toward creating a global standard, smoothing the way and clearing the ultimate bandwidth assigned for mobile data on a global scale.
Now let’s talk about the financial hurdles that will need to be overcome. Around the world, wireless carriers and governments are slated to spend more than $1.7 trillion on the development and upgrading of their existing 4G LTE networks by 2020. That’s an awful lot of zeroes to be spending on something that’s already being discussed as obsolete and in dire need of replacement, and that’s a major hurdle that must be overcome.
While the technology may be ready by around 2020, in keeping with a historical trend of new data technology being released about every ten years, current plans are to wait a little longer, for 2022. This will allow the technology to become more mature and to be ready for rollout, and will also give carriers a couple of extra years to recoup their costs before having to work on replacing that enormous investment right away.
Gadget Insight looks forward to the coming advances. Be sure to check back for Part 6 fo this series!