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Nationwide 5G mobile network: how fast will it be and how soon will it get here?
AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint have all recently unveiled plans for a nationwide 5G network in the US.
5th generation wireless telecommunications (5G) made its debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics, which just wrapped up in PyeongChang, South Korea. There, attendees who got their hands on a 5G equipped tablet or VR-headset could stream events with a millisecond delay. They also got a first person glimpse at what it’s like to be a bobsledder or snowboarder, thanks to athlete helmet cams. Besides spectators, viewers at home also got a taste of just one of 5G’s multifaceted capabilities, when it was used to synchronize 1,200 LED candles during the opening ceremony, forming an enormous dove.
This unveiling has left many wondering what 5G is, how fast it will be, and when a nationwide 5G network will become available in the US and elsewhere. The 1st generation of wireless telecommuncations was the first cell phone, an analog rather than a digital device. 2G comprised the first digital cellular network, and introduced texting. 3G allowed for internet access, birthing the first smart phone.
Speeds at the time were 200kbps to a couple of megabits per second. 4G gave us far greater speeds, hundreds of megabits to a gigabit per second. Meanwhile, 5G promises 20 gigabits per second, and a lower latency time—which is the time it takes from when you click on a web-page until it’s loaded. 5G is expected to have a response time of less than 0.001 seconds.
5G will help usher in the era of autonomous vehicles, as many functions that would normally have to be performed onboard can now be offloaded onto the cloud. Credit: Getty Images.
With 5G, you can download an HD movie in two seconds flat. It’ll open up new possibilities with Ultra HD and 3D movies, as well as transform virtual reality. But 5G isn’t just about faster speeds. It’ll allow us to connect more devices, a need that’s pressing. The era of the “internet of things,” is right around the corner.
By 2020, 13.5 billion consumer devices will be hooked up to Wi-Fi, according to one Gartner analysis—a major research and advisory firm. If you include devices for businesses, that figure is around 20.8 billion. There’s only about 6.4 billion devices on Wi-Fi today, meaning hordes of devices are going to need to be added to networks in a very short time. Besides your tablet, laptop, and smartphone, these will include things like health sensors, dog collars, security cameras, smart watches and other wearables, door locks, and so much more.
Most experts believe we’ll see a largescale rollout of 5G in most developed countries by 2020. South Korea is expected to do so by 2019. In the US, the process will be complicated. When you’ll get access will depend on where you live and your carrier. Many markets however, will be some of the first in the world to take advantage of 5G.
5G will transform VR and eliminate annoying buffering. Credit: Getty Images.
AT&T, for instance, has already successfully set up a 5G network in Waco, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Bend, Indiana. It’s also providing 5G at an Intel office in Austin. The world’s largest telecom announced in January more plans. It’s expanding 5G to a total 12 US markets by the end of 2018. By 2019, it’ll add a slew more.
By next year their network will include: New York City, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Boston, Hartford, Bridgeport, Chicago, Indianapolis, Greenville, South Carolina, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno, and Sacramento.
AT&T announced, “While we are rolling out mobile 5G in 2018, we also plan to continue to enhance our network with 5G Evolution technology in hundreds of additional metro areas.” The company’s statement added, "We will give you more options to access our latest wireless network offers by making additional 5G Evolution-capable devices available throughout the year." One major snag, 5G compatible smart phones are expected out until 2019. So the company will offer “pucks,” which operate like mobile hotspots, allowing some users to try out certain 5G’s features.
Not to be undone, T-Mobile announced this month that it’ll be offering 5G to 30 US cities by the end of the year. This includes New York, L.A., Dallas, and Las Vegas. CEO John Legere in the announcement disparaged his competitor’s plans as “dumb and dumber.” While the currently used LTE networks are growing more and more congested, T-Mobile plans to build out the open 600MHz and millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrums. It’ll also deploy 5,000 small cells for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) LTE.
A 5G visual display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Credit: Getty Images.
"T-Mobile is in a unique position with 5G, with its unpopulated spectrum holdings and multi-spectrum strategy," the telecom announced. "While other wireless companies must kick customers off their congested LTE networks to build out 5G, the un-carrier is building 5G on wide-open airwaves. Plus, T-Mobile is the only US wireless operator to announce plans for standards-based 5G across multiple spectrum bands." T-Mobile plans to cover 30 cities by 2019 and have a nationwide network by 2020. Once again, consumers won’t gain access to the 5G network until next year, when 5G compatible phones hit the market.
Verizon also has a plan. It wants to hook up five US cities with 5G by next year, starting with Sacramento. While Sprint says it’ll bring “5G-like capabilities” to several US cities this April: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and D.C. Then it plans to expand the network in the first half of 2019. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure announced the move at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
"Our deep spectrum position gives us an incredible advantage no other carrier has in the US,” Claure said. “We're making significant investments using state-of-the-art technology, and working with leading chip and handset partners to deliver an incredible next-gen network for our customers."
To learn a potential benefit 5G will likely extend to robots, click here.
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
From "if-by-whiskey" to the McNamara fallacy, being able to spot logical missteps is an invaluable skill.
- A fallacy is the use of invalid or faulty reasoning in an argument.
- There are two broad types of logical fallacies: formal and informal.
- A formal fallacy describes a flaw in the construction of a deductive argument, while an informal fallacy describes an error in reasoning.
Appeal to privacy<p>When someone behaves in a way that negatively affects (or could affect) others, but then gets upset when others criticize their behavior, they're likely engaging in the appeal to privacy — or "mind your own business" — fallacy. Examples:<br></p><ul><li>Someone who speeds excessively on the highway, considering his driving to be his own business.</li><li>Someone who doesn't see a reason to bathe or wear deodorant, but then boards a packed 10-hour flight.</li></ul><p>Language to watch out for: "You're not the boss of me." "Worry about yourself."</p>
Sunk cost fallacy<p>When someone argues for continuing a course of action despite evidence showing it's a mistake, it's often a sunk cost fallacy. The flawed logic here is something like: "We've already invested so much in this plan, we can't give up now." Examples:<br></p><ul><li>Someone who intentionally overeats at an all-you-can-eat buffet just to get their "money's worth"</li><li>A scientist who won't admit his theory is incorrect because it would be too painful or costly</li></ul><p>Language to watch out for: "We must stay the course." "I've already invested so much...." "We've always done it this way, so we'll keep doing it this way."</p>
If-by-whiskey<p>This fallacy is named after a speech given in 1952 by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_S._Sweat" target="_blank">Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr.</a>, a state representative for <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi" target="_blank">Mississippi</a>, on the subject of whether the state should legalize alcohol. Sweat's argument on prohibition was (to paraphrase):<br></p><p><em>If, by whiskey, you mean the devil's brew that causes so many problems in society, then I'm against it. But if whiskey means the oil of conversation, the philosopher's wine, "</em><em>the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning;" then I am certainly for it.</em></p>
Slippery slope<p>This fallacy involves arguing against a position because you think choosing it would start a chain reaction of bad things, even though there's little evidence to support your claim. Example:<br></p><ul><li>"We can't allow abortion because then society will lose its general respect for life, and it'll become harder to punish people for committing violent acts like murder."</li><li>"We can't legalize gay marriage. If we do, what's next? Allowing people to marry cats and dogs?" (Some people actually made this <a href="https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/national/cats-marrying-dogs-and-five-other-things-same-sex-marriage-won-mean/dLV9jKqkJOWUFZrSBETWkK/" target="_blank">argument</a> before same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S.)</li></ul><p>Of course, sometimes decisions <em>do </em>start a chain reaction, which could be bad. The slippery slope device only becomes a fallacy when there's no evidence to suggest that chain reaction would actually occur.</p><p>Language to watch out for: "If we do that, then what's next?"</p>
"There is no alternative"<p><span style="background-color: initial;">A modification of the </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma" target="_blank" style="background-color: initial;">false dilemma</a><span style="background-color: initial;">, this fallacy (often abbreviated to TINA) argues for a specific position because there are no realistic alternatives. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used this exact line as a slogan to defend capitalism, and it's still used today to that same end: Sure, capitalism has its problems, but we've seen the horrors that occur when we try anything else, so there is no alternative.</span><br></p><p>Language to watch out for: "If I had a magic wand…" "What <em>else</em> are we going to do?!"</p>
Ad hoc arguments<p>An ad hoc argument isn't really a logical fallacy, but it is a fallacious rhetorical strategy that's common and often hard to spot. It occurs when someone's claim is threatened with counterevidence, so they come up with a rationale to dismiss the counterevidence, hoping to protect their original claim. Ad hoc claims aren't designed to be generalizable. Instead, they're typically invented in the moment. <a href="https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ad_hoc" target="_blank">RationalWiki</a> provides an example:<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Alice: "It is clearly said in the Bible that the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Bob: "A purely wooden vessel of that size could not be constructed; the largest real wooden vessels were Chinese treasure ships which required iron hoops to build their keels. Even the <em>Wyoming</em> which was built in 1909 and had iron braces had problems with her hull flexing and opening up and needed constant mechanical pumping to stop her hold flooding."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Alice: "It's possible that God intervened and allowed the Ark to float, and since we don't know what gopher wood is, it is possible that it is a much stronger form of wood than any that comes from a modern tree."</p>
Snow job<p><span style="background-color: initial;">This fallacy occurs when someone doesn't really have a strong argument, so they just throw a bunch of irrelevant facts, numbers, anecdotes and other information at the audience to confuse the issue, making it harder to refute the original claim. Example:</span><br></p><ul><li>A tobacco company spokesperson who is confronted about the health risks of smoking, but then proceeds to show graph after graph depicting many of the other ways people develop cancer, and how cancer metastasizes in the body, etc.</li></ul><p>Watch out for long-winded, data-heavy arguments that seem confusing by design.</p>
McNamara fallacy<p>Named after <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McNamara" target="_blank">Robert McNamara</a>, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Secretary_of_Defense" target="_blank">U.S. secretary of defense</a> from 1961 to 1968, this fallacy occurs when decisions are made based solely on <em>quantitative metrics or observations,</em> ignoring other factors. It stems from the Vietnam War, in which McNamara sought to develop a formula to measure progress in the war. He decided on bodycount. But this "objective" formula didn't account for other important factors, such as the possibility that the Vietnamese people would never surrender.<br></p><p>You could also imagine this fallacy playing out in a medical situation. Imagine a terminal cancer patient has a tumor, and a certain procedure helps to reduce the size of the tumor, but also causes a lot of pain. Ignoring quality of life would be an example of the McNamara fallacy.</p><p>Language to watch out for: "You can't measure that, so it's not important."</p>
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Generation Ships<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a1e6445c7168d293a6da3f9600f534a2"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H2f0Wd3zNj0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.