5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.
No one company or person owns 5G, but there are several companies within the mobile ecosystem that are contributing to bringing 5G to life.
At the heart of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the industry organization that defines the global specifications for 3G UMTS (including HSPA), 4G LTE, and 5G technologies.
5G is based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), a method of modulating a digital signal across several different channels to reduce interference. 5G uses 5G NR air interface alongside OFDM principles. 5G also uses wider bandwidth technologies such as sub-6 GHz and mmWave.
The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.
First generation – 1G
1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.
Second generation – 2G
Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA– Code Division Multiple Access).
Third generation – 3G
Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).
Fourth generation – 4G LTE
2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.
Broadly speaking, 5G is used across three main types of connected services, including enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and the massive IoT. A defining capability of 5G is that it is designed for forward compatibility—the ability to flexibly support future services that are unknown today.
Enhanced mobile broadband
In addition to making our smartphones better, 5G mobile technology can usher in new immersive experiences such as VR and AR with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit.
5G can enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, available, low-latency links like remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
5G is meant to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility—providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.
5G is designed to deliver peak data rates up to 20 Gbps based on IMT-2020 requirements. Qualcomm Technologies’ flagship 5G solutions, the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X65 is designed to achieve up to 10 Gbps in downlink peak data rates.
5G is already here today, and global operators started launching new 5G networks in early 2019. Also, all major phone manufacturers are commercializing 5G phones. And soon, even more people may be able to access 5G.
5G has been deployed in 60+ countries and counting.
You will need to get a new smartphone that supports 5G if you want to be able to use the network. For example, smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 5G Mobile Platforms are 5G compatible.
The Qualcomm® Wireless Academy (QWA) offers a wide array of 5G training courses for advanced wireless engineers, non-engineers new to 5G, and everyone in between. Courses are offered through a flexible eLearning format, so you can learn at your own pace and from anywhere in the world.If you’re new to 5G, we recommend the two-hour 5G Primer for non-engineers.