5G: When can it deliver on its promises?

By | February 24, 2014
Europe's digital future is supposed to be "Connected, open and secure" (Neelie Kroes at the World Economic Forum, 2014). Nice words, but what does that mean in practice? There are huge milestones, and there are quite a few major hurdles to get there. Technologically, I'm sure we'll have technology available – and with sufficient and targeted subsidies, also enough market – to push ubiquitous computing into the growing status quo within the next five years. But I'm not sure whether policy will catch up: the current working groups seem heavily technology-focused, and public policy has not reached any major positive progress milestones in the past year. If anything, with national governments poised to start walling up the internet, we seem to have more negative progress than anything else. And then, there is the even larger problem of educating users about their digital rights and privacies within five years is an almost impossible task.

So, to ask the unspoken question again, when can we expect ubiquitous technology to penetrate our lives and integrate them into a free internet? It looks like 2020 may be more of an unrealistic dream, or perhaps a goal for theoretical solutions, than anything else.

/via +European Union 

EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – What 5G can do for you
European Commission – Press Release details page – European Commission memo Brussels, 24 February 2014 By 2020 there will be more than 30 times as much mobile internet traffic as there was in 2010. But this will not be the same type of traffic as now – Internet usage will not only have grown thanks to the number

0 thoughts on “5G: When can it deliver on its promises?

  1. Ninja On Rye

    But then again, you have to ask what it means to have "5G" in "2020".
    From the infographics there they highlight 4G as arriving in 2010.
    And yet they're pretty vague about what exactly that entailed.
    I recalled the definition involving 1Gbps at low speed, 100Mbps at high speed.  I'm certainly not seeing that around the place here in 2014.
    Will there be something by 2020 that's marketed as 5G?  I'd think so.

    As for "secure", I think you've touched on that with your point about the building of walls.  Once we head down the Apple path of walls and whitelists, it turns into a bulletpoint on the featurelist of security.

  2. Dirk Reul

    Even worse so if legislation on national and international levels don't enforce it on all levels.

    From a technological point of view, we could all have much higher speeds than we are currently getting from our ISPs (at least in Germany) it's quite interesting to talk to people who were involved in setting up the DSL and or 3G infrastructure and how much is possible today, but kept back on purpose. Technical limits do still apply, but there is a stop when it comes to expanding internet high speed infrastructure which has effectively rendered Germany someone in the lower half of European countries when it comes to the spread of high speed internet.

  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +Dirk Reul ah, of course, Telekom and co. are some of the big players in the 'consultation process' to define future policy. No doubt they are very happy over such nice ideas…

    Indeed, the biggest roadblock to 5G seems to be policy, not technology. Net neutrality is a long way off yet!

  4. Dirk Reul

    What a nice idea. Why don't we start by ensuring net neutrality all over Europe and the rest of the world. It's not a problem of bandwidth or transmission speed, it's about curbing cooperate influence and interests. See The Telekom and Comcast in the U.S.


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