I hope you have your seatbelt done up today because we are on the cusp of yet another massive leap forward in technology with 5G networks, with 5G phones, available by the end of next year. 5G internet has the potential to be almost 10 times faster than 4G, making it even better than most home internet services. The massive increase in speed has the potential to revolutionize how we use the internet and how developers think about apps and streaming content.
Over the years, it seems that the more technology we get, the more we do with it. I remember my first computer which had 2, 128k floppy disk drives. When I upgraded to 360k drives, I didn’t know what I would do with all that space. Today I have about 20-terabyte of storage around the house, and I worry that I will run out. In the early 1980s I operated a BBS system here in the GTA, and when I upgraded my modem to 56k, the data was being displayed faster than I could read it. A far cry from today’s internet speeds, where you question why it takes an hour or two to download a 5-gigabyte file from the internet. When we jump to 5G networks and start to see wireless speeds faster than hard-wired connections, the real question is what will happen to all those internet packages that we all seem to have today. Will your home internet package follow the path of your dedicated home phone? Will we be moving into a new, more connected landscape where people no longer think in terms of connection speeds and data consumption, or will we simply do what we want, when we want and where we want? The interesting thing will be that no one knows for sure because until we start doing it, we won’t know what direction things will go.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard