Are you ready for 5G? It’s coming whether you like it or not. Right now, most people don’t even know what 5G is. They think it’s just something that will make their phone better. But, it will also spur the next generation of the internet of things revolution by allowing new and innovative capabilities previously thought to be impossible!
When 5G officially takes the throne, we’ll be treated to processing speeds of up to 100 times faster than what we have now. We’ll be spoiled by self-driving cars and boxes that run our homes and businesses in an energy-efficient and low-latency manner.
3 5G Fast Facts
- 5G standard to be finalized in June.
• Carriers are working with infrastructure partners to deploy 5G-ready equipment by the end of 2018.
• The first 5G-capable phones will start to appear early next year. The first 5G devices will be mobile hotspots, which will roll out toward the end of 2018.
Where 5G Is Now?
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the standards body that writes the rules for wireless connectivity, agreed in December on the first specification of 5G. Non-Standalone Specification of 5G New Radio standard covers 600 and 700 MHz bands and the 50 GHz millimeter-wave end of the spectrum.That agreement paves the way for hardware makers to start developing handsets with 5G modems inside. But the non-standalone specification applies to 5G developed with LTE as an anchor. This month, the standards body will meet again to complete the rules for standalone 5G, after which network operators can start fine-tuning their software.It’s important to note that 5G devices must coexist with current LTE networks, because in areas where 5G coverage will be spotty or nonexistent, the new radios will be optimized for available LTE connections. That’s why the non-standalone specification came down first.
Companies such as Qualcomm and Intel are working on 5G modems that will fit into phones, cars, smart-home devices and other device forms that have yet to take shape. Those radios are currently in testing to make sure they’re interoperable with network operators and infrastructure companies.
For its part, Qualcomm announced in March that 19 network operators around the globe plan to use a new X50 5G modem in trials. This includes all the major U.S. carriers. Eighteen device makers, including Sony, ZTE and LG, plan to use the X50 in their 5G products, according to Qualcomm. Qualcomm also unveiled a new LTE modem which is also expected to be included on early 5G devices, as its maximum download speed of 2 Gbps should help those phones keep a fast connection even when 5G networks aren’t available.
5G Beyond Phones
Being able to take advantage of truly unlimited data is a smartphone user’s dream, but more people are excited about the potential unlocked by next-generation wireless. From smart-home security to self-driving cars, all the internet-connected devices in your life will be able to talk to each other at lightning-fast speeds with reduced latency. And 5G could finally make augmented- and virtual-reality headsets more palatable for mainstream users. This is notable because companies such as Apple are reportedly developing AR glasses tocomplement — or perhaps even replace — smartphones. 5G would make that possible. Ericsson illustrated at this year’s Mobile World Congress how smart glasses could become faster and lighter with a 5G connection, because instead of being weighed down with components, the glasses could rely on external hardware for processing power. Augmented reality glasses and virtual reality headsets haven’t yet cracked the mainstream, but tech companies are betting that these devices will eventually replace our smartphones.
But don’t get too excited! There’s still a lot of work to be done in the meantime, including the vote on a standalone specification, interoperability trials to make sure the radios play nicely with hardware and infrastructure build-out so 5G coverage isn’t concentrated solely in high-density cities.2018 is when the 5G transition truly starts. But 2020 is when the fifth generation of wireless connectivity will really start to take off. The real opportunity lies 5 to 10 years from now, when previously unheard-of innovation and ideas become a reality in a truly interconnected world.
What does 5G mean for hiring?
5G has a huge potential to unlock new revenue streams for businesses. The paradigm shift to 5G will unlock revenue for a much broader range of industries. This means that companies that have never hired employees with digital, IT, and IoT experience will be forced to for the first time. If certain industries do not change the skills and make up of their teams, they risk being left behind in the internet of things revolution. The multi-trillion revenue opportunity that will be created by 5G means that companies must adapt and overcome a skills gap in their current workforce or risk elimination. To that end, hiring will most certainly increase to keep pace with this revenue opportunity.