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5G is short for Fifth Generation and refers to a segment of the wireless infrastructure that is expected to deliver data up to 100 times faster than

any mobile technology available today. 5G will enable a wide range of products, where extremely high speed is a requirement including self-driving cars, virtual reality and other parts of the growing Internet of Things that all rely on super-fast connectivity.

Currently, there's news being reported by Axios Donald Trump's National Security Council is planning to build and nationalize 5G infrastructure ahead of private telecoms companies. According to Axios, feelers from AT&T shows that however, the cellular industry has been working on its plans for years and has already moved from testing into field trials.

Here's what you need to know about the operation of 5G wireless networks;

Data moves quickly along high-frequency airwaves but those airwaves get stopped by objects in their path. That means that providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile would have to use collections of smaller transmitters to deliver those revolutionary speeds to phones and other devices rather than the classic large cell towers, which have a longer range.

The wireless industry forecasts that building nationwide 5G networks will require 300,000 new cell sites (the size of pizza boxes) to be erected by 2020. For comparison, there are currently 150,000 cell towers in existence today.

Providers could also build 5G networks using more reliable, but lower-frequency, airwaves. This is the chunk of spectrum that the Trump administration is talking about nationalizing.





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Besides faster data speeds for consumers, 5G offers two other key benefits:

  1. Less lag as data moves across the network. That makes it more feasible, for example, to control an industrial machine remotely or to communicate information in real time to a self-driving car.
  2. While 4G was aimed primarily at smartphones, 5G is designed to handle phones plus all manner of Internet-of-things devices. Some of these devices need very fast connections, while others are tiny sensors that need only a trickle of communication.


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