There seems to be quite a bit of confusion around 5G so let’s try and clear things up. AT&T Mobility say’s it’s here now since they are the first carrier to offer mobile 5G services. Verizon say’s it’s here since they offer 5G Home. Competitors like T-Mobile US and Sprint say it’s coming soon. So, who is right? Let’s take a look at this argument and make it understandable.

First, there’s nothing new here. 5G wireless service is taking the same path as 4G, 3G and 2G over the last several decades. We must remember, the rollout of the next G is always a time-consuming process that takes several years. It comes in waves.

5G wireless will take several years to unfold

It starts in certain cities then it expands. Its footprint within each city grows. The number of cities offering 5G grows. The technology itself gets better, faster and stronger as time passes as well. Smartphones and other wireless gear with 5G connections get better and faster as well over the next few years.

So, the move from one G to the next is a process that takes several years. Always has and always will. Within that timeframe, there are always leaders and followers. Leaders will have the competitive edge for a while, until everyone else catches up. They will also have the honor of being known in the history books as the first.

AT&T and Verizon racing each other in 5G contest

With that said, 5G is coming on strong and both AT&T and Verizon are working fast and hard to be first. Verizon launched what they call 5G home a few months ago. This uses a 5G type technology, but the problem is, it’s not mobile 5G. It only works like your high-speed Internet connection at home.

Since 5G is a mobile service the same as 4G, 3G and 2G, Verizon is really confusing the issue. This new service may be great. It may operate on a 5G technology. However, it’s not mobile. It’s not wireless. So, if that’s the case, is it really 5G? Not to the user.

AT&T Mobility just launched the first mobile 5G signal in the United States. This is the first breakthrough in mobile 5G. So, AT&T wins the first-to-mobile-5G award.

AT&T is 5G leader, Verizon is follower, both are successful

That’s great from the network point-of-view. The problem is there are no 5G smartphones yet. AT&T solved this problem by partnering with Netgear on their Nighthawk device which lets users connect their 4G smartphones, tablets and computers to the 5G network.

It works great and solves the problem. The next big step will be when the first 5G smartphones come to market. That will start to happen in the next few months. Over time there will be more and better smartphones, tablets, laptops and more.

I think this Netgear Nighthawk device which AT&T is using at this stage will remain very popular. It will continue to provide 5G service to 4G devices. That means users won’t have to upgrade if they want to wait. This will give them the speed and save them money.

5G will roll out across the USA over several years

And that’s the way it will be as we roll out 5G to America. It will come in bit-by-bit over the next few years. It will expand in the cities it was launched in. It will expand the number of cities. It will get faster and stronger and better.

There is a difference between network services and devices whether that be smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, cars, medical equipment and many other devices.

All these differences will mean the rollout of 5G services will take time. It will not be like flipping a switch and we are all 5G. But then again, it was never that way. It wasn’t that way with 4G, 3G or 2G. It’s always been a multi-year transformation of the network from one G to the next.

5G will transform wireless and every other industry and company as well

With that said, this is one of the most exciting times we will ever see because 5G will transform not only the wireless industry, but every other industry and every other company. This is the beginning of the next chapter in our civilization. And it will be exciting.

So, congratulations to AT&T Mobility on being first to mobile 5G. And congratulations to Verizon for being first with 5G Home, their non-wireless, home based service. And don’t forget how T-Mobile and Sprint will join the 5G race in the next few months as well.

And congratulations to every smartphone maker like Apple with the iPhone, Google with the Android, and every other tablet, computer maker and more.

The next several years will be very exciting in the wireless industry. In the long run, as long as every player is in the game, that’s all good for the users, workers and investors. 2019 will be the starting line of the very important transformation to 5G for wireless and for every other industry as well.

The post Kagan: So is 5G wireless here or is it coming soon? appeared first on RCR Wireless News.