However, the promise of 5G – which is arriving in more and more cities every day as mobile service operators install thousands of low-density phone masts atop streetlamps and skyscrapers – is virtually unlimited.
Box sets downloaded in the time it takes you to traverse the concourse at King’s Cross, online gaming freed from the shackles of the basement den, and seamless video calls between boardrooms and across borders: it means more data, on more devices, with more speed. Furthermore, it could enable the mass adoption of an entirely new form of reality – a virtual one.
For a technology that promises to revolutionize business and communications, 5G is pretty prosaic. Despite the snappy name, the fifth generation of cellular phone technology is really a landgrab for an untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum. So, no bells or whistles – unless they’re being downloaded at high speed.