5G: World’s first commercial services promise ‘great leap’

LONDON (BBC News): South Korea and the US have this week launched the world’s first commercial 5G services, promising a new wave of capabilities for smartphone users.

Samsung said its Galaxy S10 5G device will offer speeds up to 20 times faster than current phones as it began selling the handsets on Friday. Countries are racing to build 5G networks that will be crucial for future tech such as driverless cars.

Nations are also working to resolve security concerns tied to the networks.

5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity. Users will get more data faster, with less delay. It also promises wider coverage and more stable connections.

Ed Barton, chief television and entertainment analyst at Ovum, said the shift from today’s 4G networks to 5G will be significant.

He said first-generation or 1G networks enabled voice, 2G brought text, 3G static images or photos, and 4G enabled video. “We’re expecting the leap from 4G to 5G to be a much greater leap than ever before.” Part of the “leap” will come from the ability to move much greater volumes of data across networks.

5G will mean more devices can be connected to the network at better speeds.

Nikhil Batra, senior research manager at technology consultancy IDC Asia Pacific, said speeds will be 10 times faster than what is possible with 4G. Samsung said its 5G device will be up to 20 times faster.