5G, the strong business mobile data connection Everyone in the tech and telecoms sector is talking about the mobile data connection in the UK compared to other countries around the EU and Europe. The new fast mobile data connections are being trialled around the world at the moment. This may still take a while until it makes it to our phones. Network providers globally are getting ready to test 5G networks throughout 2018. The first 5G-ready smartphones expected to be released early next year. Super-fast mobile streaming could be just around the corner. If everything goes to plan, the idea is that 5G will bring us broadband-equivalent download speeds over mobile networks. No more waiting for videos to buffer or web pages to load. It can even make it easier for driverless cars to transfer vast amounts of data really quickly. If you can get a mobile signal, of course. It’s still not clear which manufacturers and networks will upgrade to 5G first, or how long it’ll take. Here’s everything you need to know about the slow shift to 5G. What is 5G? 5G networks will be able to handle more data and connect more devices simultaneously. All at faster speeds than is possible using existing technology. Current 4G download speeds max out at around 50 megabits per second. 5G networks have been demonstrated that run at up more than 100 times that speed. With a good 5G connection, you’d be able to stream a 4K video straight to your smartphone with no lag at all. 5G networks can handle loads of devices at one time. This makes it handy for connecting together a large amount of Internet of Things devices in smart buildings and cities. Why is it so much faster than 4G? All the existing mobile networks use radio waves. However, 5G is faster because it uses bits of the electromagnetic spectrum that aren’t currently being used by other kinds of network. There have been new developments in receiver and transmitter technology. This allows 5G networks to communicate using very high and very low-frequency waves which, until recently, was impossible using existing technology. When will we get 5G? Right now, there’s not a single 5G-ready smartphone on the market, but Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and 14 other phone manufacturers have already announced that they’re working with the chip manufacturer Qualcomm to bring out 5G-ready devices in 2019. A widespread of mobile manufacturers, including Vodafone, Verizon and AT&T are already trialling 5G networks powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 50 Modem. While some operators, such as AT&T, are hoping to develop full 5G networks by the end of 2018, others are taking a slower approach. Vodafone has plans to start by trialling radio towers that transmit 4G and 5G before it considers switching over to full-5G networks. These dual towers have the benefit of offering the reliable range and coverage of 4G while adding the huge speed increases that come with 5G.