The battle for 5G internet is truly on, like a modern-day space race, without the nuclear bomb threat or the monkey astronauts.
Up to now, South Korea has been touted as the most likely winner, the Asian nation already boasting the fastest internet speeds in the word according to industry experts Akamai.
But news of their 5G plans are two and a half years old now and there’s a new runner in the race: the United Arab Emirates, a nation with a proven track record of catching up with all the other big tech players at lightning speed.
The country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, known as TRA, has just announced it is discussing plans to allocate bandwidth frequencies that are compatible with 5G technology.
To give you an idea of how 5G compares to its predecessor, wireless download speeds are likely to be of up to 10 gigabytes per second as opposed to the world average of between 4 and 12 megabytes/second for 4G. Just wow!
Whether that record speed actually becomes a reality on all mobile devices has been scrutinized by industry experts but there is good reason to believe there will be a considerable improvement on the best connections in the current market.
Some of the expected capabilities of such mobile internet power include being able to download HD movies in seconds, hold crystal-clear video conferences on the go without any lag and connect virtually all our home appliances and cars to the internet like never before.
Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced he’s excited by what’s coming, hoping that Virtual Reality will be one of the "killer applications of 5G."
We fully acknowledge that the Time Out team is by no means made up of tech experts so here are two videos that better explain what 5G is all about, how it’ll work and what the pros expect we’ll able to do with it.
It was Khaled Al Awadhi, from the TRA’s Corporate Development Department, who told local media that 5th generation internet for the UAE had been discussed during a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva in which Emirati representatives played a central role.
The other two aspects that the UAE is expected to push for are high-speed in-flight Internet and a global maritime tracker.
With most major technology sources estimating that we’ll have to wait until 2018/19 at the earliest to experience 5G, we see no reason why the United Arab Emirates shouldn’t launch the revolutionary technology before other countries already in the race: US, Japan, China and South Korea.
Dubai to get LiFi internet in Dubai through streetlights 'this year'