While looking at upgrading to a 4G phone/hotspot combo this afternoon I got to wondering if there was a “5G” in the works. It turns out there isn’t, exactly, but there are a few hints on the Wikipedia page on what that wireless standard might include when it emerges around 2020:
* Pervasive networks providing ubiquitous computing: The user can simultaneously be connected to several wireless access technologies and seamlessly move between them (See Media independent handover or vertical handover, IEEE 802.21, also expected to be provided by future 4G releases). These access technologies can be 2.5G, 3G, 4G, or 5G mobile networks, Wi-Fi, WPAN, or any other future access technology. In 5G, the concept may be further developed into multiple concurrent data transfer paths.
* Cognitive radio technology, also known as smart-radio: allowing different radio technologies to share the same spectrum efficiently by adaptively finding unused spectrum and adapting the transmission scheme to the requirements of the technologies currently sharing the spectrum. This dynamic radio resource management is achieved in a distributed fashion, and relies on software defined radio. See also the IEEE 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks.
* Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), where a visiting care-of mobile IP address is assigned according to location and connected network.
* High altitude stratospheric platform station (HAPS) systems.
* Real wireless world with no more limitation with access and zone issues.
* Wearable devices with AI capabilities.
* One unified global standard.
Hmm…that “wearable devices with AI capabilities” business sounds awfully familiar…
Given that new wireless communications “generations” come out approximately every ten years, the standard that emerges around 2050 — “8G” — ought to be pretty impressive.