You’ve probably heard your wireless carrier talking about how 5G is coming soon, but what does 5G really mean? 5G stands for “5th Generation” technology, and although it could be a year or so before we know exactly what all will be included in the full 5G experience, as the standard won’t be set until sometime in 2018, but we’re confident that big changes are coming to wireless technology capabilities.

Both AT&T and Verizon have announced that they will begin launching 5G home internet services sometime this year. Unlike its 4G predecessor (which is the technology that most wireless phones use in the United States today), 5G boasts significantly increased capacity which will allow for carriers to bring faster internet services to more homes and businesses by installing powerful (yet small in size) cell sites every few blocks. This ease of installation may be what allows 5G to win the next battle in the high speed internet war, as fiber optic carriers continue to experience costly challenges associated with the physical installation of the infrastructure needed to roll out their product in any large scale way.

But 5G is about so much more than just fast internet connections. Thanks to 5G’s extremely low latency, increasingly more devices will be able to communicate with significantly less lag time. This is an important next step in the advancement of autonomous vehicle technology (which will ultimately require cars, roads, traffic signals and more to be able to transmit data between one another almost instantaneously). This low latency and consistent data transfer speed also has the potential to make virtual reality part of the “new normal” for mobile devices such as phones and tablets. We fully expect a world where a VR headset and compatible phone can provide you with an internet-enhanced experience any time, any place to be reality in just a few years’ time, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and do business in the 21st century.

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