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Space companies worldwide want to bring more data to your devices, faster than ever before.
Entities ranging from SpaceX to Amazon are launching (or may launch soon) huge numbers of new satellites that can carry the extra bandwidth. And cellular network providers around the world are upgrading their equipment on the ground to meet the expected future demand.
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This new technology is being built out for new 5G networks. It's touted as a big leap over current 4G technology, which allows you to do data-intensive things like stream Netflix.
Related: 5G Network: How It Works, and Is It Dangerous?
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5G will be even better, Will Townsend, a senior analyst for market research firm Moors Insight & Strategy, told Space.com. Users will experience less latency, he said. Latency refers to the time it takes to send a packet of data to a receiver (like a cellphone) on a network. 4G networks have about 50 milliseconds of latency, and 5G networks are expected to be 10 times better, with latencies of less than 5 milliseconds.
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This will result in a "faster and more responsive" experience, Townsend said in an email. "For consumers, this will equate to faster downloads and a non-buffered video playback experience," he said. "Mobile gamers will appreciate fast responsiveness." Business applications will range from remote manufacturing to telesurgery, he added, and there will be a "richer retail experience bridging online capabilities." The growth of 5G will also help to address the rise of the internet of things, or the proliferation of network-connected, or "smart," devices. There are already smart fridges, stoves and security systems, for example, and consumers are also using wearable devices that share bandwidth on crowded mobile networks.
Meanwhile, businesses have embedded tracking devices in locations such as shipping containers, oil and gas lines, and power generators,...
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