Some early pioneers have 5G standard initiatives which will could materialize in a couple of years.

Most people think that trying to download an entire movie to a mobile device is the act of a madman. Or the act of someone with plenty of time and money to burn. But in Europe work has begun on one of the first examples of a new generation of wireless technology that could make mobile movie downloads not quite so crazy. The work, headed by Samsung, Fujitsu and other big companies, on so-called fifth-generation or 5G is set to be completed in a town south of London by 2018.

The British project is hardly the only 5G effort underway. Wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon are also working on 5G projects, and Facebook is even heading a project to bring an open-source version of 5G to consumers. Google is spearheading similar efforts to add rocket fuel to wireless networks.