5G Coming In 2017
Major network providers are expected to roll out 5G connections in 2017. Pictured: A video promotes the 5G mobile wireless standard at the Qualcomm booth during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 6, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

As the world becomes more connected and consumers need and want to surf the internet more and more, the need for a faster, stronger network speeds is expected to grow in the coming years, which is why the next generation of cellular data, 5th-generation network or 5G, is being worked on.

Earlier this month, 3GPP, a conglomerate of telecommunications standard development organizations, officially launched the 5G logo.

5G is expected to be a major improvement over the current 4G standard, which it will eventually replace. It is expected to be 30-50 times faster than the current network, reaching data speeds of up to 1GB per second. With such speeds available, consumer data usage is expected to shoot up. Consumers will be using data networks not just on their smartphones, but even on connected devices such as smartwatches and smart home appliances. According to Gartner, the 5G rollout will also lead to an almost three-fold increase in the number of connected devices, from the current 6.4 billion devices to 20.8 billion, by 2020.

Devices capable of supporting such speeds, specifically smartphones with advanced bands, are expected to be launched by the end of 2017.

Profit margins for carriers could increase with 5G as consumers might be tempted to use more value-added services. Dedicated networks could be put in place for different industry segments. Apart from mobile broadband, carriers could provide better device-to-device coverage and play a larger role in evolving technology such as autonomous cars, according to RCRWireless.

The advanced network expected to start getting deployed by the end of the year — Verizon has already highlighted its plans for deployment on 5G networks in Texas, Oregon, New York and New Jersey, while AT&T has begun testing 5G streaming with its DirecTV offering.