There’s a worldwide race to deploy 5G. Network providers across the globe are all competing to be the first to launch the next generation of wireless technology. But is the promise of 5G being overhyped?
Well, it depends on who you ask. Proponents of 5G say the technology will completely change the way we engage with the internet. Ultra-fast speeds will enable us to send massive amounts of data, stream high-definition video, deploy driverless cars, and power sophisticated virtual reality programming. Skeptics say the impact of 5G will be nothing more than a blip on the tech radar, with some even calling it a “gimmick.”
“I don’t agree with that,” Mike Finley, CEO of internet service provider Boingo (WIFI), told Yahoo Finance On the Move.”It’s not something that happened overnight.”
“One big difference between 4G and 5G is the infrastructure is already in place. There’s a lot more devices that are coming to market,” Finley said. “There’s already been a laptop announced between Lenovo and Qualcomm.”
He added that it took 4G four to five years to reach a critical point. He thinks it will take 5G just two to three years. “it’s a global need and when you have that kind of scale then infrastructure gets built, devices get made.”
Wireless carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T have already launched 5G services across the country, despite claims that the technology is still years away from widespread implementation.
In the past it used to be you just had cellular or just Wi-Fi, said Finley, but over the years because of this ‘data explosion’ that’s happened with 4G “there’s just this need for users to have have connectivity.”
“When you look at your device today, you don’t look at it and go ‘I need to be on my cellular carrier’ or ‘I need to be on Wi-Fi’. You say: I want to get an Uber or Lyft or I want to download something... I want it to work.”
Nick Rose is a producer for Yahoo Finance On the Move.