5G (Fifth generation) wireless is the next mobile technology standard, based on the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard, that will be succeeding the current 4G/LTE technology. 5G is expected to hit the market by 2020. By 2021, the number of 5G connections is forecast to reach a figure of between 25 million and 100 million. Some estimates put the figure at 200 million. Spending on 5G mobile infrastructure for that same year is forecast to be at around 2.3 billion U.S. dollars.
As capacity demands driven by growing internet data traffic increases, 5G aims to speed up data communication by up to three times compared to 4G/LTE. The key use case driving the development of 5G is the enhancement of mobile broadband services. 5G technology will allow for easier streaming of high-definition media in densely populated areas or when out of reach of Wi-Fi hotspots. 5G is also expected to advance machine-based, IoT-centric functionalities, for example, in automotive for autonomous and self-driving cars. Other potential benefits include: integrated management of the vast amount of connected devices in a smart society, lower cost, lower battery consumption, lower latency and improved support of device-to-device communication.
As an example, the increased capacity from 5G and an increasing number of fixed wireless connections and providers is expected to enable more cost-efficient Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solutions in the United States.
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