No-one will know for several years yet just what features 5G
phones will have. No-one even knows what a new 5G phone
might look like, because at the present time, 4G phones are in the process of being introduced. Not only that, but the carriers providing the networks are nowhere near having a system that gives the full 4G speed, so much of what appears on a 5G
phone will depend on how 4G phones come to be used. This will, of course, also have a significant impact on the shape of the 5G network.
One thing is certain – the 5G technology
will have to provide much greater bandwidth than the 4G technology currently under development. It’s a fact of life that there will never be enough bandwidth because as soon as the problem seems to be solved, new applications and devices appear that use up the speed and data capacity of the communications media and the cycle starts over again. That will be the case with 5G phones
5G cell phones are expected to be current around the end of the present decade, so in 2020 phones, 5G technology is what you’ll be buying. You can only speculate as to what that might be, based on the wireless phones new to the market right now. For example, the new Windows Phone 7 is the mobile operating system from Microsoft that has received good reviews from some of the top gadget and phone websites. Microsoft has teamed up with Nokia in a move that will see Windows Phone 7 as the main smartphone OS for the phone manufacturer.
Some really cool phones are coming onto the market from manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC, with a number of operating systems that will be in competition with Windows Phone 7. The Android platform from Google and a consortium of others is the most popular smartphone operating system, built on open source software.
Three HTC new Android 4G smartphones were announced this year – the Evo Shift from Sprint, the ThunderBolt from Verizon and the Inspire from AT&T. Loaded with advanced features, such as the Shift’s slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and with rear-facing cameras and lost phone locator with the ability to erase data from a remote website, these are amongst the most exciting new releases so far.
So, although true 5G phones
are a long way off at the moment, the pace of innovation in 4G smartphones, coupled with the advances in network technology from the carriers holds the promise of a mouthwatering array of features that can only be dreamed of for the present.
5G phones are not here yet. If anyone tells you they just bought a new 5G phone, they’re mixed up. There’s much talk about what the 5G phone will be like but it’s so far into the future that most of the talk is pure guesswork. However, a lot of research has been done and if you combine the results of that with what you know about 4G phones, your informed guesswork might be close to reality. What seems certain is that nanotechnology will play a big part in 5G technology.
When the 5G network is in place, 5G cell phones will have a big role in ubiquitous, seamless computing. You’ll be able to access your desktop computer from your mobile, monitor your baby’s heart rate from work, or even get an alarm if you’re in an area where a tsunami is predicted. The applications for 5G phones will be limited only by the imagination of the designers and, of course, the users. Cloud computing will bring the full power of desktop computing and more to mobile phones 5G and 4G alike.
Cambridge University and Nokia are developing ways for users to give wireless phones new shapes, in the same way that you can customize your browser’s look and feel today. Flexibility, transparency and self-cleaning are all capabilities that can be built in to these cool phones through the clever application of nanotechnology. Phones will be developed that derive their power from natural sources, such as the sun, air, or water. Air quality will be subject to constant smartphone monitoring – a great help to allergy sufferers and health conscious individuals.
5G phones will be around in 2020 but the new Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft is here right now.
This is a platform that competes with the Android OS from Google and others, an open source product based on the Apache licence. The look and feel of Windows Phone 7 integrates well with what you’re used to on the desktop, plus XBOX Live and many innovative applications from independent developers. This should be attractive to new smartphone users and fits in well with the concept of seamless computing mentioned for 5G phones.
So, even though you won’t find any 5G phones yet, there are 4G phones out, such as the HTC new Android smartphones announced recently, bringing HTC’s total to six, on networks from the major carriers. The ThunderBolt smartphone from HTC on Verizon has Skype technology built in, along with a large 4.3 inch display and an 8 Megapixel camera. The camera has its own effects, with an LED flash and an HD camcorder. The ability to use this phone as a 4G wireless router for up to five devices is a sign of great things to come.