'5G' Wireless Doesn't Even Technically Exist Yet, But Everyone's Pretty Sure It's Going To Fix Everything
from the this-network-runs-on-nonsense dept
You might also be familiar with the constant marketing distortions that herald the arrival of the latest "next-generation" (third generation=3G, fourth generation=4G) wireless standard, whether it's the way Verizon initially pretended that their old network was 3G, or the way that all carriers currently pretend to offer the largest 4G network. Ultimately carriers "fixed" complaints about them being misleading by convincing the ITU that they should be allowed to call pretty much everything 4G, regardless of whether we're talking about LTE or carrier pigeon.
Enter the fifth generation of wireless (5G), which hasn't even been defined yet, but which people are already fairly sure is going to wash your dishes, cure cancer, and help John Travolta with his pronunciation problems. The generations generally come in ten year increments, and while 5G is just a vague outline currently, South Korea appears prepared to lead the charge, spending $1.5 billion to research next-generation 5G networks (whatever they wind up being) that they claim will provide speeds 1,000 times faster than what's available today.
Despite the fact that 5G is barely an embryonic concept, and any real networks likely won't even appear until at least 2020, it's never too early to dive head-first into the shallows of the hype pool. Samsung, for example, has been insisting that pretty much anything they cook up in their their labs is 5G. Broadcom insists their new Wi-Fi gear is 5G, even if it has nothing to do with cellular networks. News outlets are happy to help with the confusion too, calling 4G technologies 5G -- just because. The European Union, like everybody else, has absolutely no idea what 5G wireless is -- but they're pretty damn sure it's going to help them fix youth unemployment and your case of the sniffles:
"Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, sees 5G as a potential cure for youth unemployment, which has reached 70 percent in some areas of the European Union. It's also going to be key for e-health services and the automotive industry, she said at a news conference in Barcelona."Is there anything the next, entirely ambiguous incarnation of wireless technologies can't do? The best part moving forward is, even if you're not actually offering "5G" any time in the next decade, you can always just pretend you do. Put "5G researcher" on your next resume update even if you're a janitorial custodian. Sell "5G" burgers! Insist your company's network is the only network that's 5G, and everybody else's network actually runs on pudding! Go ahead! Nobody will fact check. Enjoy!