With companies like AT&T and Verizon touting the rollout of 5G in specific cities, many consumers, while excited about the new technology, know very little about how it works or how it may change their lives. According to Virginia Tech’s Jeff Reed they are not alone because there are still several unknowns among carriers too.

Quoting Reed

“This is an interesting time with the carriers beginning to deploy 5G. There is a lot of hype now, but the reality is that it is going to take several years before 5G is fully realized. There are still a number of technical issues to be worked out in the standard, as well as refining the way it is deployed. One of the key things to watch will be the new business models that will be explored with the technical capabilities provided by 5G. The new applications and new business models that 5G will support will have a profound impact on everyone's life. The new capabilities with ultra-reliable low latency communications and massive machine type communications are especially promising,” said Reed.

Reed also points to some questions that have yet to be resolved:

  • Will there finally be a competitive fixed broadband market and how will this impact service and costs?

  • Will 5G replace WiFI in the home, especially for IoT (Internet of Things) devices?

  • Will there now be a push by the cellular service providers or new providers to service vehicular communication needs?

“There is no doubt in my mind that we don’t fully know the impact or the applications enabled by 5G.”

About Reed

Jeff Reed is the Willis G. Worcester Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He has served as an advisor to NTIA and 30+ organizations and is the co-founder of several companies. He is currently co-authoring an eBook on 5G and is the Founding Director of Wireless @ Virginia Tech, one of the largest and most comprehensive university wireless research groups in the United States and the Founding Faculty Member of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security. Full bio page here.

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Charts and visuals provided by expert Jeff Reed: 

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