The race to 5G is over— now it’s time to pay the bill

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The Consumer Electronics Show 2024 is just around the corner, and while telecommunications executives were eager to shout about 5G to the rafters just a few years ago, you’ll probably be lucky to hear so much as a whisper about it this time around. While it’s true that 5G has actually arrived, the fantastic use cases we heard about years ago haven’t materialized. But deploying 5G at the breakneck speeds required to win an imaginary race resulted in one fewer major wireless carrier to choose from and lots of debt to repay. 5G will improve as time marches on as it tends to, particularly when the networks have fully deployed standalone 5G. But we can probably stop holding our breath for that killer app and make peace with the fact that technological progress is often slow and boring — moving forward cell tower by cell tower, not by leaps and bounds. In the short term, its greatest effect might be a more consolidated, more expensive wireless broadband market. If it’s any consolation, you can take some comfort in the fact that we probably won’t be seeing commercials for 6G anytime soon.

The race to 5G is over — now it’s time to pay the bill