So, What About 5G?

5G is the much-ballyhooed latest stage in mobile network technology, and is still under development. We should see actual products - and the 5G networks to use them on - in the next couple of years.

If we look back, the first generation of bulky cellular telephones worked on 1G. Then came 2G (2nd generation, if you like), which allowed texting - then 3G which effectively allowed our smartphones to be viable portable computers.

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The current generation of wireless networking, 4G, allows us to (usually) stream videos as well. So, what will 5G supposedly bring?

Well, primarily *much* faster speeds - fast enough to fulfill the budding promise of a truly hyper-connected world of augmented reality, self-driving cars, swarming delivery drones and all that other science-fiction-y stuff that we can't quite manage yet. The technology should also allow us to connect these myriad devices, something that we don't currently have the capacity to do.

It will be expensive to build, though; for adequate coverage there will need to be a *lot* more cell towers or relay stations in close proximity to each other. Because of the nature of the 5G wireless signals, it's range is hugely reduced from the current 4G.

Also, one perhaps can't help but wonder if this saturation of wireless signals bouncing around every nook and cranny will have any adverse affect on animals or people over the long term. I'm sure that will come up for debate (and maybe even be protested as the new technology starts to roll out).

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