Standalone 5G standard released

Reports suggest that we’re one step closer to the fastest generation of wireless data transfer technology yet, although naturally, the hardware and infrastructure is a long way off being there.

"Two years ago, 5G was seen as a vision or even just a hype -- with the closing of Rel-15, 3GPP has made 5G a reality within a very short time," commented Georg Mayer, chairman of 3GPP CT, the global initiative dedicated to introducing official protocols for 5G networks and other cellular standards.

The “hype” seemed legitimate as back at the close of 2017 when 3GPP had only introduced a non-standalone 5G specification, which still relied on 4G (LTE) networks.

But now, things have really stepped up a gear according to the 3GPP; “Now, the whole industry is taking the final sprint towards 5G commercialisation.”

The organisation added that the “amazing” set of standards will support not just higher data rates and bandwidth, but ones that are “open and flexible enough to satisfy the communication needs of different industries – 5G will be the integration platform for business.” Outside of businesses, the move will also be big for streaming and connectivity capabilities in the smart home, particularly with regard to how IoT devices work together (and supporting the development of brand new ones).

The rollout of 5G could also be huge for AI and allowing systems to independently run on top of wireless protocols and advancing VR (i.e. making it wireless and/or remote), although there are currently some worries over the fight for frequencies between government and internet providers.

For now it’s going to be a while before 5G brings the benefits of download speeds being up to 100 times faster are felt in the home – the rollout will only launch in select cities for now (a significant number of which are in the US).

Now the race is very much on between countries to develop the first network and chipsets, but despite the US government’s fears that if China are the first, it “will win politically, economically, and militarily,” the network in China and South Korea is reportedly streets ahead of what the US currently have developed.

Whilst 5G is exciting, there is a still lot to work out before we all feel the benefits, and you can bet there’ll be a fair amount of quibbling on bandwidth before it's rolled out on a significant scale.