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CES 2018: What Happens to Your Phone Will Be the Least Interesting Thing About 5G

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5G is so powerful, it’s sending back signals from the future. The technology is barely out of the experimental phase, with the first official 5G standard released just last month: The first partial deployments are expected later this year or early next year, and full commercial deployments probably won’t be complete until the early 2020s. Yet many booths at CES in Las Vegas this week are festooned with 5G exhibits, and conference sessions devoted to the tech are jam-packed.

The anticipation is high because as the technical realities of 5G have come into focus, engineers have also begun to realize that it’s going to offer a lot more than “4G, only faster.” In addition to high speeds, 5G has the potential to handle many more mobile devices at the same without network congestion, and handle those connections with low latency.