5G: What Does One More G Mean to You?

By Jeff Johnston

September 2019

Key Points

  • Hype is reaching fever pitch for 5G (fifth-generation cellular wireless service), which has been touted as a quantum leap for wireless internet speed. However, operators’ go-to-market strategies are unclear.
  • The millimeter wave spectrum being used in many 5G networks support fiber-like data speeds, but technical and operational issues limit its scale.
  • Early on, it will be enterprises that get the most out of 5G, as 5G will enable a whole new set of IoT (internet of things) applications that will drive efficiencies for organizations.
  • 5G New Radio (NR), which is the standards and network equipment behind 5G, will reduce the cost to deliver data. Cost appears to be one of wireless operators’ primary motives to deploy 5G.
  • 5G networks will eventually have a meaningful impact on consumers, but that won’t happen for about three years. For rural America, it will be at least another five years.

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