As Mobile World Congress comes to a close, a key theme from this year’s event was how mobile will dominate media- and 5G mobile internet will be the catalyst for this shift.
The super-fast wireless network of the future is still forecast to be about four years away from mainstream adoption. That didn’t stop it being a hot topic at the Mobile World Congress this year, where some of the world’s most innovative companies and influential technologists have gathered to discuss the future of connectivity.
The new mobile technology was a key feature in Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote. He urged the networks not to focus solely on faster connections for those who already had internet access.
Speaking at the event, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger said 5G is expected to be rolled out in some parts of the EU by 2020.
— Günther H. Oettinger (@GOettingerEU) February 21, 2016
After Nokia’s announcement on 5G and the internet of things the previous day, Ericsson and Intel also revealed their plans for the new mobile technology.
Wireless equipment supplier Ericsson said 5G radio test-bed trials would start this year, but pegged the full commercial roll-out of the networks as 2020.
Intel, meanwhile, announced products and partnerships it said would lay the groundwork for faster, more efficient networks, saying it was essential to start laying the groundwork now.
”Billions of increasingly smart and connected devices, data-rich personalised services and cloud applications are driving the need for smarter and more powerful networks,” said Aicha Evans, corporate vice-president and general manager of the Intel Communication and Devices Group. ”The transition to 5G brings communications and computing together and is a fundamental shift for the industry.”
Ericsson chief executive Hans Vestberg expects 150 million users to be on the networks in five year.
”One of the things that I’ve heard at Mobile World Congress this year so far this year, that I think has personally been a little disappointing, was that 4G is about giving people a good experience and 5G is about connecting things,” he said, stressing the need to get the internet to those who don’t yet have it.