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Managing the hype around 5G

Speaking at CES in Las Vegas Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon, claimed that 5G would represent a ‘quantum’ leap over 4G.

The technology will have a much wider range of uses, according to Vestberg, as it’s being designed not only for consumers, but for industries and society at large.

“It’s so much more,” he said. “It’s going to result in cordless manufacturing, it could see retail stores able to capture real-time information giving you, as a customer, a much better experience when you’re in store.”

Verizon has deployed 5G Home on a limited scale in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis and is starting to market its first 5G smartphones - Motorola’s Moto Z3 and a Samsung phone – and Vestberg suggested that much of the new infrastructure needed to support 5G would be based on what was already there.

An upbeat assessment but are we seeing rather too much hype around 5G, especially as 5G proper is unlikely to appear until 2020-21?

The roll-out of services has been very limited to date, and it’s going to be a good 18-24 months before operators have network capabilities and handset manufacturers 5G enabled product in place.

We’re in a classic ‘hype phase’ when it comes to 5G. Operators, handset manufacturers and the media are all talking about it, but few can actually buy or use it.

Perhaps we do need to hold off talking at length of the wonders of 5G and simply let the wireless operators and device manufacturers get on with working out the details, so that we can all realise the benefits of 5G wireless.

Author
Neil Tyler

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