5G has been a hot topic in the wireless industry for the past few years. Between wireless carriers, telecommunication equipment manufacturers and manufacturers like Qualcomm that make modems for these networks, there's a lot of buzz about this next iteration of mobile networks. For a while, it was thought that 5G wouldn't be seen until around 2020, but according to Qualcomm's CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, it looks like it will be seen in 2019. Mollenkopf is speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Aspen, Colorado this week, and stated that you'll "see 5G in 2019, for sure." Sounding pretty confident, Mollenkopf didn't expand on where or with what wireless carrier, we might see 5G become a reality in 2019.
Wireless carriers are already working on 5G, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all working on 5G right now, with Sprint focusing a bit more on Gigabit LTE than 5G at this point – since Gigabit LTE is a stepping stone to 5G, that does make plenty of sense. Verizon has said that it plans to have 5G rolling out commercially as soon as this year. But of course, there could be hurdles for Verizon to jump through, not to mention it would need a device or two that actually supports 5G. That's where Qualcomm comes in. While Qualcomm doesn't make the equipment that goes on cell towers like Huawei, Samsung and Nokia do, Qualcomm does make the modems that connect these handsets to those towers. And if that modem doesn't support 5G, then there's no point in having a 5G network really. Qualcomm is working closely with these carriers and other companies to make sure these things work well.
It's said that 5G speeds will be measured in Gbps instead of Mbps, and it should be around 10-20Gbps, which is a huge improvement over 4G LTE. 5G is being positioned as the future for the Internet of Things as well, since it will use a ton of high-band spectrum which provides more bandwidth, and that means that more devices can be connected without impacting the speed of the network. It's also said to play into ISP's networks as well, as many carriers are looking to do fixed fiber lines for 5G, so we could also see ISPs like Comcast, Charter, and others jump into the wireless arena in the near future.