Posted by News Express | 13 March 2019 | 1,427 times
Mobile networks are undergoing the transition from 4G to the much faster and more capable 5G.
If you take a stroll outside today, you'll see a lot of people with mobile phones, phablets or tablets in their hands making calls, using the internet to catch up on the news, watch videos, or interacting with others via Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter.
In doing so, they're all using a mobile data network. Many of these applications – particularly video – consume a lot of bandwidth, so telecommunications companies across the world are starting to talk about upgrading to the latest generation of mobile data to help speed things up.
If you think back a while ago, you might remember a technology imaginatively called 3G, which was short for “3rd generation”. You might also remember how everything you tried to do on the 3G network was so clunky and slow. Many of us wanted to capitalise on some of the new features available to us on our revolutionary new smartphones like the Apple iPhone that we all rushed out and bought, but often the network just couldn’t keep up.
Things were eventually upgraded to 4G, which we’ve had in Australia for just under four years, although even this is starting to show its age.
So you might think that 5G might be just around the corner. But we likely won’t see 5G networks until the end of this decade. In the mean time we can expect telcos to start rolling out some of the technologies being developed for 5G in their existing networks.
If you’re lucky enough to have a new handset like the Apple iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 then you’ll notice the new 4GX splash screen when your handset starts up.
The key 4GX enhancements are increased speed and better coverage in-building and in regional areas. This is thanks to the inclusion of spectrum sharing that better utilises Telstra’s 1,800MHz and 700MHz spectrum bands. Phablets, like this Sony Xperia Z Ultra, are often used for more than just making phone calls, and those other applications often demand a lot of data from the mobile network. Telstra has only recently been able to add the 700 MHz band spectrum to its mobile network that it bought when analog television was switched off for good and consigned to history. It is worth noting that the next step along the pathway towards true 5G is likely to occur shortly when the telcos roll out Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE). VoLTE will replace the existing 3G technology used for voice calls over the cellular network.
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