Fifth Generation Mobile Networks or Wireless Systems

The next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. 5G is also referred to as beyond 2020 mobile communications technologies. 5G does not describe any particular specification in any official document published by any telecommunication standardization body.

A new mobile generation has appeared approximately every 10th year since the first 1G system, Nordic Mobile Telephone, was introduced in 1981. The first 2G system started to roll out in 1992, the first 3G system first appeared in 2001 and 4G systems fully compliant with IMT-Advanced were standardized in 2012. The development of the 2G (GSM) and 3G (IMT-2000 and UMTS) standards took about 10 years from the official start of the R&D projects, and development of 4G systems started in 2001 or 2002. Predecessor technologies have occurred on the market a few years before the new mobile generation, for example the pre-3G system CdmaOne/IS95 in the US in 1995, and the pre-4G systems Mobile WiMAX in South-Korea 2006, and first release-LTE in Scandinavia 2009.  Mobile generations typically refer to non–backwards-compatible cellular standards following requirements stated by ITU-R, such as IMT-2000 for 3G and IMT-Advanced for 4G. In parallel with the development of the ITU-R mobile generations, IEEE and other standardization bodies also develop wireless communication technologies, often for higher data rates and higher frequencies but shorter transmission ranges. The first gigabit IEEE standard was WiGig or IEEE 802.11ac, commercially available since 2013, soon to be followed by the multi gigabit standard IEEE 802.11ad

» Our On-Line School of Network Science Glossary of Telecommunications Terms and Acronyms