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5G connectivity will be a game changer, part I

5G vs. G.fast transmission

5G will be revolutionary

‘5G’ refers to the next, fifth generation of wireless connectivity. This is one of those sweeping technological innovations that holds great potential for creating new jobs, new industries and changing our personal day-to-day lives. 5G will include more than an increase in speed because it encompasses revolutionary improvements in wireless broadband that will cascade into major changes in business and everyday life. I’ll share more information about this in Part II of this article.

5G will further erode geographic and other divisions to provide unprecedented speed with continuous connectivity for billions of business and other devices. For example, much faster chip speed will approach 1.5 gigabits per second (faster than Google Fiber), and eventually even higher. Some foresee increases to terabits per second, now limited to fiber optics.

5G will probably launch in 2018, but standards have yet to be defined

However, no formal standards have yet been set for 5G by industry bodies like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and full launch for high-tech countries probably won’t come until 2018, global availability coming in subsequent years. The greatest remaining challenge for 5G is ensuring reliable bandwidth over longer distances.

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G.fast, another blazing fast transmission technology to launch in 2017

G.fast is an acronym for Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals, scheduled for U.S. launch in early 2017 within limited markets. Based on Israeli chipmaker Sckipio technology, it will be 50 times faster than current average wire-based broadband speeds. Of critical importance, it will work over telephone wires and coaxial cables already installed in your home or apartment. This will provide major cost savings while discouraging further investment in fiberoptic cable installation (according to one estimate this can cost up to $100K for just one home). Fiber optic’s declining competitive advantage will accelerate when G.fast eventually introduces speeds up to 1.5 gigabytes per second, faster than Google Fiber currently offers.

AT&T is planning on deploying G.fast because it integrates well with their DirecTV satellite TV service. This will pave the way for DirecTV customers to move away from expensive internet cable and slow phone line DSL.

In Part II of this article, I’ll describe some dramatic applications for 5G technology.

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