A highly informative status report on 5G technology by PC Magazine – as we start the next decade ahead 🙂

https://www.pcmag.com/article/345387/what-is-5g

What Is 5G? — All of the US carriers have now launched some form of 5G cellular network. But what exactly is 5G, and how fast is it compared with 4G? Here are the facts we know so far.

But over the past few months, 5G has gotten very confusing. Three major flavors of 5G have come out: low-band, mid-band, and high-band, all of which are incompatible at the moment, and perform very differently from each other. We’ve been testing all of them as they appear. The most widespread version doesn’t perform much better than 4G.

This confusion will shake out over the next two years. 5G is an investment for the next decade, and in previous mobile transitions, we’ve seen most of the big changes happening years after the first announcement. Take 4G, for instance. The first 4G phones in the US appeared in 2010, but the sorts of 4G applications that changed our world didn’t appear until later. Snapchat came in 2012, and Uber became widespread in 2013. Video calls over LTE networks also became widespread in the US around 2013.

So following that plan, while we’re getting a little bit of 5G right now, you should expect the big 5G applications to crop up around 2021 or 2022. Until then, things are going to be confusing as wireless carriers jockey for customers and mindshare.

5G stands for fifth-generation cellular wireless, and the initial standards for it were set at the end of 2017. But a standard doesn’t mean that all 5G will work the same—or that we even know what applications 5G will enable. There will be slow but responsive 5G, and fast 5G with limited coverage.