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Over the last few months, a number of different people/groups have pushed London to try and solidify a plan to become the first city to offer a “5G” mobile network by 2020.

First, note that we have no clue what “5G” actually is….so I am not sure how a plan could be formed to achieve it. Maybe wireless providers will simply have the definition of “5G” watered down like they did with “4G” technology so that basic wireless upgrades can allow companies to claim that they offer so-called 5G speeds.

Then there is the issue that wireless providers in London are still relying heavily on 2G technology to cover areas of the city. Yes, 2G technology, not 3G or 4G technology.

According to a survey conducted by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), one in three mobile internet tasks and one in seven voice calls attempted by London commuters failed during testing. According to the survey, EE, O2 and Vodafone all “heavily rely” on older 2G networks to cover commuters. – ZDNet

Previous estimates have shown that it would take at least $20 billion to cover Europe with 5G technology (assuming we define 5G as a network that offers massive speed upgrades from current 4G technology).

I suspect it may be double that if current technology is much further behind than we realize.