In a few years, you may be able to download a full-length HD movie to your phone in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. And video chats will be so immersive that it will feel like you can reach out and touch the other person right through the screen.
At least, that’s what the wireless companies envision for the future of mobile. While many parts of the world are still awaiting the rollout of 4G networks, the telecom industry is already looking ahead to the next generation of cellular technology, called 5G.
It was a big topic of discussion at the Mobile World Congress show last week, where companies like Nokia Networks, Huawei and Ericsson talked about what each is doing in the area of 5G and the possibilities it will create. (MWC is an annual event in Barcelona where the wireless industry comes together to show off the latest devices and technologies.)
But as an emerging technology, there are a lot of questions surrounding 5G. What is it exactly? How will it work? How will it affect consumers?
I asked industry experts, as well as companies like Nokia and Huawei, for their takes on 5G. Most agreed: The technology is still a long way from becoming a reality, but it has the potential to completely change the way we interact with wireless devices, from the smartphones in our pockets to the cars we drive.