Looks like my area will be getting 5G before a whole lot of other places. Sweet! Here's hoping that they'll be spreading out to the surrounding counties, as well since that's where most of the people who work in Indy live. Covering just the city would be a huge waste, since everything around here is regional. On the up side, AT&T, my carrier, will be leading the way and has already been sinking money into the area infrastructure for years. Now, if they could just get me a better signal strength at my house and Apple could make me a 5G iPhone by the time they've rolled it out!
The latest buzzword in mobile is 5G—the newest generation of wireless service that immediately promises more speed and better connectivity for smartphones, internet-connected devices and even autonomous cars.
But 5G is about more than speed. Experts call it a transformational technology that could eventually mean unprecedented battery life for devices (think a month before charging your smartphone) and lag times shorter than the blink of an eye, making videoconferencing as good as broadcast TV.
And nowhere in the country will 5G be more available than it will be soon in Indianapolis, where both Verizon and AT&T—which have the nation’s two largest wireless networks—are rolling out the technology by year’s end. Verizon, however, is phasing in 5G—starting with residential wireless before expanding to mobile.
Not only from a technological standpoint, but from a public relations perspective, this is a really big deal,” said David Love, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.
“It tells you that Indianapolis is being mentioned in the same breath as Austin, the Bay Area and other tech epicenters,” he said. “This is enormously important for the city of Indianapolis and the state.”
In fact, Houston is the only other city in the country that will have 5G service from AT&T and Verizon this year.
Love said the early rollouts will help the metro area recruit talent and new business—especially in the tech sector. “People and businesses definitely take notice of these types of developments,” Love said. “It’s big news.”
The G in 5G stands for generation—as in generation of wireless technology. And with each generation, new capabilities have emerged. In the 1980s, the first generation allowed mobile phone calls for the first time without a rare and expensive satellite phone. In the 1990s, 2G allowed text messages. In 2000, 3G allowed voice, text messaging and email as well as some web browsing and apps. In 2010, 4G allowed video on mobile and other devices—which gave rise to the popularity of services such as YouTube.
But experts say 5G is different.