A new generation of mobile and wireless technology is just around the corner. New 5G technology, a major upgrade on current 4G data connections, is set to arrive in the coming months and could launch on network services used by tens of millions of British consumers.
But the race to 5G has many concerned that the technology has been over-hyped, at least in its early form. It has led to legal battles and disputes, smartphone makers rushing to launch new handsets and even global security concerns over the equipment used to run the technology.
According to those in the smartphone industry, 5G technology, in some form, is likely to arrive this year. “There has been a major acceleration in one year,” says Enrico Salvatori, president of 5G at Qualcomm, a company making 5G microchips for smartphones.
But what exactly is 5G and how will it be different from the current network. For those who struggle to get a 3G signal in their local area, will it actually make any difference?
Here is everything we know so far about 5G in the UK, and what you can expect to see in the coming months.
What is 5G?
5G is an evolution of current network technology, 4G, one that will enable download speeds between 10 and 100 times faster than current rates.