5G is expanding across the world - at the same time, there is speculation as to what the anticipated 6th Generation technology will offer.
Generation technology is used across mobile phones, computers, cars and more, such as weapons and satellites. A United Nations body, The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is responsible for regulating the telecoms industry, including Generation technology. In this article, we’ll look at wireless cellular technology.
Here is a timeline of the Generations - what do you remember?
1G: ‘The Brick Phone’, 1980s
An iconic feature of the 1980s, analog phones using 1G technology came with an antenna and could only make voice calls. The phones were heavy and battery life was short, but they were very easy to use.
2G: Texting begins in 1991
Mobile phones evolved from analog to digital and offered customers a new way to communicate:
SMS - Short Message Service, also known as ‘texting’.
MMS - Multimedia Messaging Service, users could now send pictures, videos and website links to each other.
2.5G and 2.75G: the mid-1990s middle Generation technology included data
Data transmission was sped up with 2.5G and 2.75G, but these technological feats also marked a new era in manufacturing, the beginning of e-waste.
Since the 1870s, the telephone has been a status symbol. But by the 1990s consumers had a huge disposable income to use to keep up with the latest models. Manufacturers knew this and announced the arrival of a new make frequently, often with only minor technological advances. Initially this caused huge excitement among tech users and some were keen to get rid of their old phone in favour of the newest model. However, with the arrival of the iPhone 6 in 2014 (also known as Bendgate) consumers started to wise up.
Faster data transmission, internet access and video calls arrived in the pockets of millions, opening a new way for the world to connect.
Phones across the world now offer 4G technology - including gaming services and clearer voice calls.
5G utilises technologies such as automation, AI and IoT.
This upgrade should have been warmly received, but it arrived in a rather dramatic year and became the focal point of conspiracy theories involving biological warfare and government mind-control on civilians.
By the end of this decade, it is expected that 6G technology will have overtaken and replaced 5G - but what will this include? 6G is expected to offer the usual upgrades as previous Generations have: it will be more efficient and offer users a higher definition.
Technology insiders have suggested 6G will bridge biology and AI.