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Will 5G become a worthless term before the communications standard is even defined?

5G Hype: An Early Inflation

Dan Jones
8/25/2014
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Will "5G" become a worthless term before the next generation of wireless communications technology is even defined?

Could be...

Smart Communications Inc. , an operator in the Philippines, is being called out for marketing its newly launched LTE-Advanced service as "5G" in ads. Peter Bryer engagingly calls it "generation inflation" in a CCS Insight blog on the topic.

It's nothing new, of course -- LTE-Advanced was originally defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as one of the first actual real 4G technologies. Many carriers, however, marketed everything from 3G HSPA+ to LTE and WiMax as "4G," and the ITU backpedaled on the definition (See The Battle of FauxG, 3GPP Stands Firm on LTE-Advanced, Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually) and ITU Backtracks on '4G' Definition.)


Follow the birth of a wireless standard on our 5G channel.


Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, of course, isn't even standardized yet. We're just starting to get a picture of some of the technical elements that might make up the eventual standard. The earliest operators are expecting to deploy the technology is 2020. (See Radio Revolutions on the Road to 5G and The 5G Landgrab.)

So, just remember: If a nice operator tries to sell you its new service as "5G," that just can't be so. It's even not close to 2020 yet.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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abucek
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abucek,
User Rank: Lightning
8/26/2014 | 1:59:42 PM
Re: 5G Hype
I think AT&T and Apple started some of the confustion : The Ridiculous Trick AT&T And Apple Are Playing On iPhone 4S Owners, by using the technological standard for the name of the product.  I remember people asking me if they would be able to use their Apple 3G phone on a 4G network.  

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-4s-att-4g-2012-3#ixzz3BWPhjyjt

 

 
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 11:30:33 AM
Re: 5G Hype
Will we still have functioning brains when 7G is ready for commercial deployment?
Gabriel Brown
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Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 11:10:17 AM
Re: 5G Hype
Hi Phil -- Yes, but we're not necessarily talking about Joe Public here. A new global RAN technology is a HUGE, collaborative effort. Organizations needs to understand the scope, evaluate the options, partner, co-develop, and so on. This get called hype, but it's not. It is useful work that contrbutes to the end service a consumer buys 10 years later.

Edit: Oh I remember 2.5G. That's what you get today in the UK when you wander outside the cities. It's great for holidays. Not so much for productive work.
Gabriel Brown
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Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 11:05:05 AM
Re: 5G Hype
Hi kq4ym -- Yes, but it's useful to think about the motivations for promoting (hyping) 5G now. You can make a case it's not too soon. Here's a slide from a recent presentation I gave:

DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/26/2014 | 10:41:18 AM
Re: 5G Hype
7G is where they download the app straight into your brain.
Steve Saunders
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Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
8/26/2014 | 10:29:33 AM
Re: 5G Hype
6G? Pffff. 7G is where the smart money is. 
Phil_Britt
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Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 10:05:08 AM
Re: 5G Hype
Gabriel,

It goes back further than that. Many companies were touting the advances that would be available in 3G "soon" five or more years before it became a reality (remember 2.5 G?). In the late 1990s, NTT DoCoMo had some location-based services running in Asia that were going to be available in the U.S. "soon." I never saw in the dictionary that "soon" meant more than a dozen years.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 9:00:08 AM
Re: 5G Hype
LR is just getting well ahead of the inevitable premature dismissal stage that will follow the inevitable premature hype stage. Now, about 6G ...
kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 8:41:14 AM
Re: 5G Hype
Hype will always be with us. And I won't be surprised to see lots more as companies scramble to outdo one another is seeking new business and customers. But 5G five or six years before it's possible does seem a stretch even for marketing departments.
Gabriel Brown
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Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 3:20:08 AM
5G Hype
Reminds me of this article from 2003: 4G: Running Before You Can Walk

It's kind of a fair warning that enormous amounts of hype are coming your way.

And yet... it's pretty clear that mobile networks could still be much better and that new "5G" technologies will be useful
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