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The FCC wants to move the U.S. to 5G. Here’s what that means.

Kai Ryssdal Feb 18, 2015
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The Federal Communications Commission just wrapped up a public comment period on 5G – or what the FCC likes to refer to as, “bringing the U.S to the forefront of fifth-generation wireless technology.”

So, what exactly is 5G?

“The Original ‘Gs’ were about voice service, we wanted voice on our cell phones,” Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson. “But eventually we wanted more than that, we wanted data, we wanted texting. So we got texting on 2G. Then we wanted the actual Internet, so we got 3G.”

These days, 4G or LTE is the fastest internet access available – what allows us to download movies in just seconds and have constant connection. That is, until 5G makes its debut.

“It’s better, that’s the basic thing. It promises really high speeds,” says Johnson. “But the interesting thing is, it promises higher speeds, but for shorter distances – think meters not miles.”