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Next Big Thing: Get ready for the 5G era

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Next Big Thing: Get ready for the 5G era

2:39 /

Brian Cooley explains the technology behind 5G cellular wireless, when we'll see it, and where it will take us in the future.

[MUSIC] Let's talk mobile. Now a lot of you I imagine have just made the jump to a 4G phone or maybe you're just about to. But here comes the next thing already. The buzz is on about 5G. Now first off, as you might imagine, 5G is expected to be faster, much faster, but I'm not real comfortable quoting any speeds right now, because you know how it goes, we've been promised pie in the sky many times, with 3G and 4G, what the lab speeds are, then we get out in the real world and it's nowhere near that. So yes, there are some theoretical benchmarks out there we can compare right now, but let's let the speed thing percolate a while. The next concept we hear a lot about is 5G having lightness, so it will be faster, able to handle big thick content like streaming 4K high definition movies. But on the other hand, it will be dead reliable as expected on very thin skinny bits of data. The kinds of data streams that little connected home modules past back-and-forth, for example, with absolute robustness. In fact, many expect that under the 5G era, the biggest growth of connected devices within it is actually going to be those things that never really face a human. Machine to machine devices, the so called internet of things. Then there's the concept of special lanes built within 5G. This has to do with. They call signalling. What gets priority first? Because it needs to get there on time. For example the future wireless connection in a self driving or autonomous car needs a much higher priority than the video stream connection coming to your kids iPad in the back seat of that car. So the really important things that has to get there on time to allow a service to execute well will be given priority and other things that can buffer and no one gets hurt. Will actually do that. And related to all that is layered pricing. Right now, if you think about it, you basically pay the same price for data for a 100k email attachment as you do for a 100k worth of video streaming. Although that video streaming is, in theory, a more valuable service, because it has to arrive on time to avoid video degradation and buffering. 5G is expected to have this kind of layered data within it and the ability to sell it at different tiers within a single connection. That could allow carriers to do a lot of interesting things with pricing. Still kind of hard to predict. Finally there's the concept of multihoming and that means it can harness all the other available wireless around it. Pulling in two and half G, 3G, 4G, wi-fi, Bluetooth, and assigning the tasks to whichever one is available, the most robust, and the most efficient, either based on energy use or cost. Those are the high points of what i'm hearing in the 5G discussion, it's early right now, but it's starting to get really busy out there in terms of expectations and predictions. You've got some time to absorb it though. The consensus is that none of this rolls out commercially until about 2020. [MUSIC]

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