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These days there are few things that are more pleasing than fast internet speeds. Nearly everything in our homes, such as phones, watches, TVs, thermostats, and security devices to name a few, can be connected to the internet. That’s why most companies are always striving to achieve faster and more stable internet connections. With all of these devices vying for ultimate wireless usage the connections continuously need to be updated, which is where each new generation of wireless phone technology first came into being.

The technology for faster speeds has skyrocketed in the past few years, and newer, faster, and stronger connections have emerged. This year the technology industry is launching a new generation of wireless signal, 5G. But what exactly is 5G and how does it differ from past generations? To make it a little bit easier to understand, here is a breakdown of what 5G is, how it differs from previous generations, and how it can benefit users once it is available.

What is 5G?

In its simplest form, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless phone technology. With each leap and bound from the original prototype, a new generation with exciting and innovative capabilities was born and needed to be differentiated from past forms.

When wireless phones first became available in the late 1990s and early 2000s, 1G was the standard. Phone calls could be made and received, and this was about it. Companies expanded wireless phone technology to be able to support sending and receiving text messages between two or more devices and 2G was born. The most significant leap came with the emergence of 3G, which allowed internet browsing on phones in addition to the previous capabilities. 4G came about several years later and enhanced the features offered by increasing speed and allowing users to download and upload large videos and pictures. 4G LTE (Long-term evolution) was mainly a faster version of 4G and became the golden standard for connectivity.

5G will build on the foundation created by 4G and 4G LTE by allowing all of the previous capabilities such as texting, sending photos or gifs, and browsing the web, but will also include a dramatic increase in data transfer speed. In a nutshell, 5G will make downloading and uploading much more efficient and will allow users to do so in Ultra HD.

How Will It Improve Usage?

Not only will speeds increase exponentially, but the connection will be more stable. As more and more devices sync with a connection at once the more strain that connection feels and the more likely a decrease in speed will occur. 5G will drastically reduce the chances of this happening as it can handle more and more devices due to its increased strength. Imagine your 4G connection as a garden hose; 5G will more closely resemble a fire hose in how much connectivity it can handle.

When Does It Launch?

Different carriers will launch 5G at different times, but many, if not all, will launch by the end of this year. However, many companies are only planning to launch in select areas until all of the ‘bugs’ are fixed to ensure better coverage. It is more likely that consumers can take their pick between 5G capable phones later in 2019. Also, many carriers are planning to offer home internet networks that are 5G capable, so you don’t necessarily have to have a phone that is 5G to enjoy 5G speeds in your home.

As always, technology takes time to implement and perfect. There may be kinks in the system, but the one sure thing is that internet technology is making huge leaps forward and users are reaping the benefits of faster speeds, stronger signals, and more stable connections.