When it comes to "what's next" it appears that 5G is what's on the horizon for wireless technology and connectivity. Industry giants have been getting together to discuss what 5G should be and what sort of technology would be required to make it happen for a long time now, but things have certainly sped up in the last year or so. Verizon is obviously interested in 5G, having done quite well out of hitting the ground running with 4G early on, but even Big Red know that they can't do it alone, and their newest recruit to join their course is Intel.
Intel has joined the Verizon 5G Technology Forum and will apparently "contribute to the development of 5G requirements and standards and conduct testing to optimize end-to-end mobile broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) device architectures and network infrastructure". Getting down to actual business and Intel will start working in Verizon's San Francisco and Waltham, MA Innovation Centers. It appears that Intel will bring some much-needed knowhow where hardware working with software is concerned. With 4G networks, the hardware was pretty much the driving force behind new speeds, but as 5G networks are being proposed as being more nuanced, more intelligent networks a partner like Intel will go a long way to delivering software knowledge. Intel themselves are working on their test areas in Oregon and California where they'll be working on MIMO technologies as well as 'ultra-low latency response, high frequency small cells, and mobile edge computing'.
5G is of course quite a way away from being away mainstream, but Verizon and Intel working together to move things forward a bit. Earlier this week, it was announced that Samsung and other industry leaders have proposed what they feel is a strong candidate for a first draft of 5G standards, but there's a lot of work to be done, and it's unlikely we'll see any sort of standard arrive before the end of 2016. Besides, there's still a whole lot of life left in 4G networks across the globe.