By Dr. Steven Shepard – I don’t know about you, but I’ve been around long enough to remember the sound of a modem dialing, as it attempted to connect me to a blazingly fast connection. I heard that sound many, many times a day, and remember feeling excited when we got to the silence part, because it meant that I had successfully connected to whatever service I was using, probably AOL or Prodigy, at the blazingly fast speed of 4800 bits-per-second. Man, I was livin’ large. But how times have changed.
The Conversation Changes to 5G
Today, the conversation is all about 5G, the latest and greatest wireless or mobile technology. The pace at which wireless evolves is breathtaking—it seems as if we just got 4G, what we call LTE. But here we are: 5G will ABSOLUTELY be a good thing, and it WILL get here, but it’s gonna take a little while. So, while we’re waiting for it to arrive, let me clarify a few things about what it is, and what it is not.
First, for those of you who aren’t addicted to technology acronyms, it’s called 5G because it’s recognized as the fifth generation of wireless technology that’s come about. Fourth generation is here now and has been for a long time, but we know it as LTE, which is an acronym for Long Term Evolution. LTE was a real game-changer for both wireless providers and their customers. Why? Because it was built on the assumption that the network that underlies its abilities is based on the Internet Protocol(IP), which is the set of networking rules that make the global Internet work so well. And second, it’s really fast—like, Wi-Fi fast. That’s why you can stream movies to your phone or play interactive games so well.