5GPhoneAdRecently, an association called Cambridge Wireless, sponsored a debate about whether there is a need for 5G hype in today’s wireless marketplace. On one side was the head of standards and industrial affairs at Samsung Electronics Research Institute, Howard Benn, who claimed that 5G hype was warranted. On the other was the VP of embedded technology company u-blox, Tony Milbourn, who claimed that 5G hype was unnecessary.

But as the debate showed, we have no idea what 5G actually entails. As Howard Benn admitted outright, we have no clue what 5G is today nor what it will be in 5-10-15 years.

Speaking in defence of 5G, Howard Benn said “we need 5G because history tells us that we can’t predict what services will be popular from 2020 to 2030, so we need a super-efficient and super-flexible system to cover all bases.” – Fudzilla

Still. Yes, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has written a “preliminary standard” of 5G being equal to 20 Gbps. That standard will not stay at that speed. How do I know? Simply look at what the telecom industry did to 4G technology.

Ericsson5GHypeIn 2010, the ITU declared that nobody in the United States was actually deploying technology with 4G speeds. According to the ITU, only technology similar to LTE-Advanced, which was capable of speeds over 100 Mbps, could be considered 4G technology. But that didn’t stop T-Mobile or AT&T from telling the public about their so-called 4G networks. T-Mobile claimed that their 3G HSPA+ service was the “largest 4G network.” while Sprint and AT&T would pretend that their Mobile WiMax and LTE networks (from several years ago) were also “4G.”

Once the wireless companies realized that they couldn’t actually reach 4G speeds, they lobbied the ITU to change what was considered real 4G technology. The ITU therefore released new rules which deemed just about any network as 4G if that network had a “substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities” over existing 3G technology. This allowed wireless carriers to then proclaim that their networks were deemed 4G yet the speeds they offered were still barely above 3G speeds.

But, as we see, companies around the world are already 5G speeds without….the 5G speeds!