The latest in 5G from CES 2019

5G CES Vegas 2019

At CES 2019 this January, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote address where he spoke enthusiastically about the next generation of mobile broadband. Vestberg and other industry leaders, including AT&T CEO John Donovan, predict that 5G will trigger a second digital revolution that replaces wired internet technology with powerful wireless networks.

5G, which carriers like Verizon and AT&T expect to roll out next year, was on everyone’s minds during this year’s CES. Just like artificial intelligence, it’s expected to have a revolutionary impact on almost every area of people’s lives through a network of wireless, internet-connected devices called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Big moments in 5G from CES 2019

Many vendors used CES 2019 as an opportunity to showcase their latest 5G technology. Samsung, for example, unveiled a version of the Galaxy S10 compatible with 5G networks. Qualcomm displayed a range of mobile hotspots compatible with 5G networks. Other vendors showcased devices–like shuttles, cars, hover bikes, and helicopters–that will join the IoT in the decades to come.

Here are some of the most significant moments from the event:

  • Samsung displayed a 5G-compatible prototype of the Galaxy S10 in its booth. This prototype is the first that meets industry specifications for 5G. Unfortunately, Samsung has since confirmed that the phone won’t be part of its Galaxy S10 drop this spring.
  • Qualcomm showcased a range of mobile hotspots compatible with wireless 5G networks during the event. Qualcomm is taking a leading role in 5G hardware development, as it’s producing 5G chips for carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
  • A keynote address from AT&T CEO John Donovan was overshadowed by the widespread industry criticism of AT&T’s “5G E” networks, which do not meet industry specifications for 5G. Sprint is, currently, suing AT&T for deceptive marketing of 5G E.
  • Sprint took CES 2019 as an opportunity to announce that, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, it had just completed the world’s first call over a 5G network in San Diego. During the test, researchers were also able to stream YouTube videos and use Skype.
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When will rural users have 5G?

EvdoDepotUSA representatives Chandler Blake and Tanner Wentworth travelled to Las Vegas this January with the express purpose of finding out more about the next generation of mobile broadband. “We wanted to answer the question that a lot of people who call in want to know is, when will 5G be available to the public?” says Wentworth.

“Potential customers sometimes ask if they lease a router from us that is designed to pick up 4G LTE signals from the cell phone towers will be warrantied if 5G is available. So what we did was educate ourselves as much as we could with experts whose sole job at the CES was to field questions from people like us. We also sat in on a couple different lectures and interviews with experts, and engineers talking about 5G.”

While Verizon has experimented with installed 5G in smaller cities like Brockton, MA, and Bernardsville, NJ, most carriers are currently focused on bringing 5G to major cities. “The main thing we took from those were that 5G is coming, but not until most likely 2020,” says Wentworth. “If the towers are built across the US sooner than that, they will be built in only the major cities. Rural 5G towers won’t be available for a while.”

While you wait on 5G, why not give 4G LTE a go?

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Photo by LG