The fifth generation of wireless connectivity should be advertised as "the Fortnite network," according to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. In a recent interview with Inverse, the Republican regulator touted 5G as a revolutionary cellular technology that will change the way consumers work and play on their mobile devices, in part because it will lower the overall reliance on Wi-Fi by providing a comparably fast and consistent solution on the go. Carr, who celebrated his first year as one of the FCC's five Commissioners earlier this month, resolved to use Fortnite as a straightforward example of how 5G is promising to change the entertainment industry, suggesting that competitive online multiplayer will soon become a viable option on smartphones even without a Wi-Fi connection.
According to the FCC's estimates, 5G should eventually be "up to a thousand times faster [and] five times more responsive" than even the most advanced 4G LTE solutions that are currently available to consumers. The telecom regulator is presently working on accelerating 5G deployment efforts in the country which are yet to start on any significant scale. Due to the nature of the new technology, a significant portion of the future 5G infrastructure in the United States will rely on millimeter-wave bands which some carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have been hoarding on the second-hand market over the last several years, though the FCC is also planning to hold its first mmWave spectrum auction in November.
5G will also allow for next-generation entertainment in the streaming department, enabling 4K Netflix viewing on the go, among similar applications, as Carr was quick to point out. In terms of Fortnite, developer Epic Games officially advertises the game as being playable on 4G LTE connections, though some players participating in the battle royale hit's beta testing phase on Android have been complaining about dropped connections and server timeouts since the title launched earlier this month. All major American wireless carriers are presently aiming for national 5G coverage in 2020.