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Last week, Ericsson announced that they had begun testing their first “5G mobile units.” Except, even they admit that they aren’t sure what that really means.

“We’re still trying to figure out what 5G is,” said Keith Shank, Ericsson’s Experience Center director. – BizJournals

The article goes on to make a number of predictions about 5G networks:

  • 5G is expected to offer 1,000 times more volume for mobile data
  • 5G is expected to offer five times lower latency
  • 5G is expected to increase end-user data rates by 10 to 100 times.
  • 5G is expected to allow for more machine-to-machine communications at faster speeds and provide more bandwidth.
  • 5G is expected to “kick in” around 2018 and “debut in 2021.”

Unfortunately, as I have written about a number of times, companies are seemingly trying to one-up each other with ridiculous 5G technology claims without any idea what 5G means since it has not even been defined yet (yes, preliminary definitions have been made but that is far, far from actually being defined and used by wireless providers).

Some companies are even marketing their so-called 5G wireless packages, which include speeds that barely reach what is defined today as 4G. Then there are islands looking to have the world’s first “5G network.” Or companies introducing “4.5G” technology which according to them is technology that is between “LTE Advanced deployments … and 5G.” So, essentially any upgrade from today. Don’t forget that we also have “Pre-5G” which is really technology allowing for faster speeds on 4G networks.

Basically, companies are doing today what they did years ago with 4G. They use the term as much as possible and push to have the definition of 5G dumbed down to barely adequate current generation speeds.