Mobile Carriers Tout Upcoming 5G Networks. How Fast is That?

Every mobile carrier commercial is now promising lightning-fast speeds because those technology companies are upgrading their networks to 5G. But what exactly is 5G – and how soon will Chicago see it?

Ally Marotti, a technology reporter at the Chicago Tribune, dug into the story and found some experts who say the speeds coming to your phones and computers will be mind-blowingly fast.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

“One told me that it would be 20 times faster,” Marotti said. “But then I had other experts tell me it can be thousands of times faster.”

Those speeds can be used in real-world applications like driverless cars and robotic surgery that need reams of real-time data to make life and death movements. But for the rest of us, those speeds can help with more mundane activities.

“You know how when you’re going to fly on an airplane and you download a whole bunch of movies on your Wi-Fi to your phone so you have something to watch on the plane? Well, all the experts told me that you won’t have to do that before you leave your house now,” Marotti said. “You can download whole movies instantly.”

The major wireless companies like Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are rushing to be the first to roll out their 5G networks, but are all mum on launch dates for Chicago.

“They’re being very quiet about it and it’s partially because they’re in such a knock-down, drag-out race to be the first company to deliver this to consumers,” Marotti said.

“Chicago is one of the first cities Sprint is going to be turning their network on (in) and that’ll be sometime in the first half of this year,” she said. “But most of these companies are saying that by 2020, they’ll have a nationwide 5G network.”

Related stories:

Illinois Watchdog Group Releases ‘Guide to Fighting Robocalls’

The Implications of Six Flags Biometrics Ruling on Silicon Valley

Report: In Building Data Centers, Chicago Outpaced by Other Markets

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors