5G wireless technology is still years away, but it now has an official logo. 3GPP, the company which regulates the standards for cellular service, now officially says the next generation of mobile data is real, if only in the pre-planning stages.
What is 5G, you may be asking? It is the buzzword for how quickly data comes and goes on your mobile phone. Back in the 3G days, we could barely watch YouTube without either plenty of buffering or resolution loss. Now we have mobile devices with screens which almost rival notebooks and the visuals are crystal clear, thanks to a reduction in bandwidth throttling.
Of course, with the recent change in FCC regulations brought on by Donald Trump’s pick for Chairman, Ajit Pai, we may see a return to bandwidth throttling in exchange for keeping costs down. It’s too early to be sure, but with the allegedly imminent death of net neutrality, ISPs will once again be free to charge extra for services outside proprietary usage. Comcast had allegedly been doing that and butted heads with former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler over a series of lawsuits.
The people of the United States hope it doesn’t come down to dirty deals for affordable internet. Streaming services are getting more and more demanding with the introduction of 4K TV and video games, requiring higher speeds. You could easily end up paying twice as much for that new Xbox One Scorpio title on Christmas as the download size could pass your data cap.
Home internet isn’t exactly affected by the 5G wireless technology movement, but by the time it arrives, the FCC will allow ISPs the choice to make you pay extra no matter what internet you use.
This wouldn’t be the first time “under the table” deals have been made in regards to wireless internet speed. The Verge states that T-Mobile and AT&T had simply renamed HSPA+ 3G as “4G” in 2011 to make consumers think they had the same speed as Verizon’s 4G LTE. With time, true 4G has become the norm, as Verizon still appears to lead the pack with 4G LTE Advanced Pro.
The logo for 5G uses the same font as before, though now italicized with a more “3D” look via the shading of the characters, giving it the appearance of being faster. It borrows the three line “wave” motif from previous speed logos used to represent a wireless signal. It’s a slight variation on the standard symbol for Wi-Fi on mobile devices, but instead of appearing like curved droplets, the wide ends are squared off. This is probably a further attempt to make the logo appear futuristic, and could change over the next couple of years.
— The Verge (@verge) February 9, 2017
Until 2018, when 3GPP begins specifying the initial phase of 5G wireless technology, we can only dream and hope that the FCC’s lowering regulations don’t make that technology end up costing you more than your electric bill.
In the meantime, there are some things you can try to keep your mobile device running as smoothly and quickly as possible.
- Keep all browsing restricted to your browser. Apps like Facebook and Twitter will only increase the amount of RAM you use regularly, choking off your phone’s speed. Messenger and YouTube are unavoidable, though, the former now being mandatory to use Facebook’s private messaging on the go.
- Install an app to help you clean out your unused RAM. File Manager for Android is also helpful in letting you know if you have any other apps just sitting there wasting your phone’s memory while being forgotten.
- Use your operating system’s built-in purge system to close apps you’re not currently using. You never know if that calculator you opened this morning is choking off your RAM, or if YouTube has been sitting unused since you had to see that collection of cat antics.
[Featured Image by Paraksa/Shutterstock]