The race to bring super-fast 5G wireless services to market is heating up, with the first commercial deployment of the much-anticipated technology expected at the end of the year.

Talks about 5G’s potential to pave the way to a world of self-driving cars, lightening-fast video downloads and smart cities have dominated the Mobile World Congress for years.

Here’s all about it.

First commercial 5G roll-out to begin this year

The first commercial 5G roll-out would begin this year. Further, in the United States, Korea and Japan, the wireless industry is counting on the new technology to trigger a wave of growth in equipment sales and mobile services.

At the event in Barcelona this year, companies were full of concrete announcements of early versions of 5G uses.


Huge investments in 5G technology

“We are investing heavily in 5G, nearly $600mn per year in research and development,” said Huawei executive director and president of products and solutions Ryan Ding.

Deutsche Telekom CEO, Timotheus Hoettges has estimated the cost of providing 5G networks in Europe alone will be $370-615 billion.

Telecom operators are also investing heavily to develop 5G networks for fear of falling behind their competitors.


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