Qualcomm noted that carriers may begin deploying mobile 5G networks by 2019, although a number of the cellular standard’s important features will likely be deployed at a later date. Wireless network industry decided to speed up the standardization of the cellular standard since 5G networks are now viewed as a potential solution to the increasing global demand for mobile data. Standards for both standalone and non-standalone implementation of 5G will likely be finalized by June 2018, although the chipset development could begin by late 2017. This allows carriers to deploy networks by the year 2019, a year earlier than the original target date of 2020. Right now, testing of 5G equipment and infrastructure are being conducted around the world, while a pilot project in South Korea aims to build a 5G network by the year 2018, just in time for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Not only does the newer cellular standard offer 10 times better speeds than LTE networks, these speeds are maintained even in crowded areas and in peak hours. Carriers will utilize millimeter-wave radio signals, which offer increased bandwidth at the expense of range and building penetration. However, technologies like beamforming should help improve coverage by focusing radio signals in one direction. Lower frequencies, like T-Mobile's 600MHz band and Sprint's 2.5GHz spectrum, can also be used by 5G networks for increased range while Gigabit LTE is expected to deliver improved mobile data speeds in rural and suburban areas
As network operators focus first on delivering increased data speeds to its current customers, other important features of the 5G standard will be rolled out after 2019. Among the features that will be deployed later on is the decrease in latency or the amount of time consumed between the transmission of data and its reception by another device or computer. The reduced latency is important for effective communication and remote control of new use cases like self-driving vehicles, service robots, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and road infrastructures like sensors and traffic lights. Carriers are expected to utilize an edge computing model, which places computing components likes general purpose computers and stacks of graphics processing units closer to the base stations or a small cell, new equipment, and additional base stations to achieve reduced latency. From 2020 to 2030, companies are expected to shell out $2.4 trillion to upgrade their infrastructure and build 5G networks, while in the United States, wireless operators are projected to spend around $23 billion in the year 2023.