\u00a0The vision of 5G is becoming more clear, but it will be some time yet before it becomes a full reality.\u00a0 5G is expected to bring incredible speeds and a latency (responsiveness) of just milliseconds.\u00a0 Leaders in 4G LTE are following the standards, and in some cases helping craft them, to stay at the forefront as the 5G world develops.\u00a0\nDefining the Current State of 5G\n5G is the next generation of mobile networks.\u00a0 The standards are not expected to be set until around 2019, so the definition is still somewhat fluid.\u00a0 We do know that end users can expect ultra-low latency and ultra-high speeds.\u00a0 Currently, the marketing hype is off the charts.\u00a0 Wireless network operators are conducting various trials this year, but it\u2019s limited to a few cities and only offering fixed wireless, i.e. no mobility, since that functionality will only come once the standards are complete.\u00a0\nApplications Reaching New Levels with 5G\nOnce 5G reaches its full potential, it could deliver possibly life-saving applications, where in the past those capabilities just didn\u2019t exist. Think of remotely controlled robotics or remote surgery. Applications will vary depending on how the network will most widely be used in the coming years, but categories like autonomous driving, virtual reality, and augmented reality are a few that are expected to grow.\u00a0\nApplications like these that are highly sensitive to latency are limited today to what is accessible in a wired environment, but with 5G you can extend that. Think of 5G as wireless fiber \u2014 but 5G is about more than just higher speeds and lower latency. The 5G standards also take into account much higher connection density, so as the immense number of devices for Internet of Things (IoT) applications get deployed, networks will be able to handle them.\nEffects of 5G with Mobile Edge Computing and the IoT\nIn addition, the amount of data being generated at the edge by IoT devices is growing significantly faster than the ability of the network to process it \u2014 and with the extra bandwidth of 5G, that problem can become exponentially worse. Edge processing (also called fog computing) means pushing compute resources out to the edge. \u00a0This means, as all the IoT data comes in, it can be pre-processed to send only the desired results rather than all of the data.\u00a0 For example, sending an alert when the temperature of a restaurant\u2019s refrigerator is too high or too low, rather than sending every reading.\nThe 5G Router\nA good way to think about following network trends is to shoot to where the puck is going.\u00a0 Devices need to be engineered for end-to-end throughput that can handle 5G speeds.\u00a0 Consideration needs to go into the processor, memory, and the ability to move bits through, even when doing high-compute capabilities, like deep packet inspection. You also need the ability on the device to do pre-processing before it gets to the network.\u00a0 Consideration should go into how much edge computing goes into a device.\u00a0 Multi-core processors even allow for onboard Universal Threat Management (UTM), that previously required a separate security appliance.\nWhen will 5G be Available?\n5G won\u2019t just roll out all at once.\u00a0 5G will start in densely populated areas, handing off to 4G to ensure continuous coverage when moving outside that area. Moreover, 5G won\u2019t replace 4G, whereas 4G has replaced 2G and will ultimately replace 3G. The two will work in a complementary fashion to handle different types of traffic most efficiently.\nToday, we are still in the technical trial stage while the standards for mobility and network interoperability are in development. It\u2019s likely we will see commercial launches next year, and once the standards are set, there\u2019s no turning back. 5G will provide catalysts for new applications and new opportunities that are just waiting to be imagined.\nWhat you need to learn about 5G, download the infographic now.