5G: The Latest News & Updates

The latest and greatest that's happening in the world of 5G

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New 5G information is released daily from around the world. Some companies are starting 5G trials in new cities, others are announcing when customers can order their 5G service, and some businesses are releasing new ideas for how 5G will change the way we live.

5G availability is extremely limited right now, with only a few locations having a live, non-demo, subscriber-based network up and running. However, many companies are just a few months away from launching a full-blown 5G network for customers to use.

Below is all the information you need to know to stay on track with how 5G is progressing around the globe.

5G Releases and Trials

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Many companies around the world are announcing new 5G trials and potential live 5G networks for customers.

  • January 3: Vodafone, Orange, and Huawei announce plans to run 5G trials in Spain, in Pamplona, Andalucia, Malaga, and Seville.
  • December 28: Finland's DNA telecom company plans to launch a 5G network in 2019 in Helsinki, and reveals that it's also working on a fixed wireless access (FWA) network in Vantaa.
  • December 24: ExteNet Systems announces plans to erect a 5G network in Smyrna, Georgia.
  • December 21: Dutch mobile telecom company KPN announces the launch of their 5G Field Lab in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, where "new 5G applications are being tested to make cities more sustainable."
  • December 20: The Korean government forms a 5G smart factory alliance that includes 19 telecom and technology companies and organizations like SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Siemens Korea, and Microsoft Korea.
  • December 21: Telia Lietuva reveals the launch of Lithuania's first 5G connection in Vilnius, transmitting speeds of 1.8 Gbps.
  • December 20: Panasonic and Ericsson announce that their 5G-ready solution for bringing a connected experience onboard commercial aircraft is now live. According to the companies, "Every passenger whose mobile service provider has a roaming agreement with AeroMobile can use the service."
  • December 14: European mobile network operator Orange plans to kickstart its 2020 5G deployment by offering service in 17 cities in 2019, spanning across France, Spain, Romania, Poland, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
  • December 13: UK's Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) announces its 5G testbed in the city of Bath. The network uses CCS's Metnet 60 GHz unlicensed mmWave backhaul to allow VR and AR technology to operate on 12 Gbps radios to "support interactive 5G smart tourism applications and enhanced visual experiences."
  • December 12: Portugal's Vodafone claim the first 5G connection in the country. They tested a Qualcomm 5G smartphone prototype, a virtual reality video call, and a VR game on Ericsson's pre-commercial 5G network.
  • December 12: Vodafone in Ireland announces a new fixed wireless access trial to test 5G broadband access in Roscommon, Gorey, Clonmel, and Dungarvan.
  • December 12: Norway's Telia Company launches its first 5G test network in Oslo at the Odeon movie theater, and also sets up a family with a "modern home" with 5G connectivity and Futurehome tech.
  • November 8: Switzerland’s Swisscom completes their first 5G data transfer on a live network in Lucerne.
  • November 5: Turkcell in Turkey completes a fixed wireless access trial.
  • October 1: Verizon becomes the first company in the US to offer fixed wireless access service to subscribers in parts of California, Texas, and Indiana, using their own 5G standard (i.e., not 5G NR).

5G Phones and Other Hardware

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Phones for 5G are quickly approaching, with many companies planning to release them this year. Other mobile carriers are offering 5G hotspots so that customers can get on 5G with their 4G devices.

  • January 14: South Korea's ETNews says that Samsung's upcoming 5G phone, the Galaxy S10 X which will be released March 29th, will have six cameras, a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, 10 GB of RAM, a 5,000 mAh battery, and 1 TB of storage.
  • January 7: Sprint confirms that a Samsung 5G smartphone will be available on its network in the summer of 2019.
  • January 4: D-Link reveals the DWR-2010, a 5G router capable of speeds 40 times faster than the average fixed broadband speed in the US, and built to connect to a 5G network with nothing more than a SIM card and power outlet.
  • December 17: Qualcomm introduces its next-gen cellular chipset, the 9205 LTE modem, built for Internet of Things (IoT) applications like sensors, monitors, and trackers.
  • December 13: Chinese mobile device manufacturer Ulefone reveals the Armor 6 as the world's first rugged 5G phone. Network testing will start in the second quarter of 2019 in collaboration with China Mobile.
  • December 10: OPPO, a Chinese consumer electronics company and partner of China Mobile, unveils its Find X 5G phone prototype.

    New 5G Use Cases

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    A new era of 5G-enabled products is beginning. A few practical use cases for 5G include interconnected smart cities, mobile augmented reality and virtual reality, and device-to-device communication.

    5G Research, Investing, and Other News

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    5G isn't yet as ubiquitous as 4G, but that doesn't stop businesses from planning how they can capitalize on it. Companies are developing ideas on how they might one day use a 5G network or 5G device; some could even prove to be a good investment if you get in early.

    • December 11: A formal agreement is made between Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Chulalongkorn University research university to collaborate on a 5G testing center. It will launch at the university in 2019 and will last two years.
    • December 10: Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reveal a method for selecting antenna designs for 5G hardware, which could boost network capacity while reducing costs.
    • December 10: Verizon reveals that 10,400 employees have accepted a voluntary separation offer as part of the company's plans to reorganize and focus on 5G.
    • December 6: JMA Wireless acquires PHAZR, a vRAN 5G technology provider headquartered in Allen, Texas.
    • December 3: Games developer Niantic explains that 5G networks will help accelerate their vision for next-gen augmented reality video games.
    • November 29: Chinese electronics company Oppo announces a 10 billion yuan investment into 5G, AI, and IoT research and development.