In a world where phones can control many home functions and watches are becoming more powerful than NASA’s original computers, people still demand more. These devices all use wireless signals to communicate with other devices, using service via Wi-Fi or cellular towers. As people expect their technology to improve every year, they hold the same expectations for their service. Receiving content as fast and smooth as possible sits high on a user’s wishlist. Cellular networks are not as easy or cheap to replace as a phone, but they still receive upgrades. Within the past year, 5G networking has been a goal unachieved; many hope 2020 brings better fortune.
It is essential to define what 5G means and how society has reached this point. The abbreviation stands for the 5th generation of wireless technology. Each generation, since 1979, has introduced faster speeds and stronger connections, along with unique features. In order for phones to continue strong connections, they need to be connected to a site to keep both parties in communication. NTT, a Japanese company, innovated the possibility of having a phone move between multiple sites connecting phone lines, allowing the user to move freely between different locations. 2G came in the 90s with faster and cheaper connections, making mobile phones a more popular product. 3G and the current 4G also worked on accommodating the increasing demand and adapting to new phone features such as video calls and internet usage. The 4G network has been in use since 2010, keeping users happy with its high speed and consistency. Higher speeds offer smoother experiences void of lags or buffer screens. This consistency also helps less populated areas stay in the loop as most companies advertise that they cover 95 to 99% of North America. The progression that phones alone have reached in only a few decades is quite remarkable.
The jump into the next level will be impressive but will need more time to develop. Although companies competitively started 5G connections about a year ago, they will not be consistent until sometime later in 2020. Back in late 2018, AT&T and Verizon argued that they announced 5G first. A few months later, South Korea’s Telecom declared it won the race over the U.S. and China. Regardless of which company or country is the “champion” the end result will be fun to watch. Many expect 5G will run at ten times the current speeds, which could introduce a variety of new apps and services. 4G came into use in 2010 before apps like Snapchat in 2012, and Uber in 2013 were created, finding success due to a high speed network. If the next generation follows suit, who knows what could dominate app stores in five years from now? As exciting as it sounds, consumers need patience. AT&T and Verizon each released 5G in an average of 30 cities altogether, and even then, the user experience was not optimal. There are higher hopes for 2020, but society will most likely still rely on 4G for the foreseeable future. Sascha Segan of PC Magazine expects 5G will not be running under its own power until 2021 or 2022. Historic progress will be made within the next several months, albeit slowly.
It is exciting to see the achievements under development. However, people cannot get too ahead of themselves in making their own plans. God has a sovereign plan. King David was known as a man after God’s heart. He was a mighty man and decided he wanted to build the temple. But then God told him to have patience. People have made great discoveries throughout history. While most follow different worldviews, Christians should not easily forget that God orchestrates what will happen.