5G was the mobile standard of the 2020s. This new standard was a major leap forward over the previous generations in terms of power and functionality, and it was more sophisticated, too. By this time, the technology in mobile phones was becoming attached to a human body itself.
The first standard for mobile phones was the 1G standard. The first 1G network came into existance in Japan in 1979. This network initially covered only Tokyo, but by 1984 all of Japan was covered. However, in 1981, the countries of Scandanavia developed their own 1G network. The Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system was the first 1G network to go international. NMT was also the first completely automatic cell phone system. The 1G standard was the only standard for mobile phones to use analog radio signals. As this was Tech Level 9 technology, it would not be uncommon for analog signals to be used by any form of telecommunications. But in the 1990s, as Tech Level 10 started, many communication mediums would switch to digital. Cell phones were among them.
2G mobile phones were not that much different from 1G mobile phones. Like their predecessors, they were just used for making phone calls. However, because 2G phones used digital signals instead of analog ones, they had a higher system capacity. More calls, less power. This increased efficiency for cell phones. As the decade came to a close, however, more efficient phones would comes with new technologies besides phone calling.
3G mobile phones went beyond traditional telephones when they first appeared in 2001. These phones incorporated multi-media support, spread spectrum transmission, and at least 200 kilobits per second peak bitrate. 3G phones were the first smartphones. They had Internet access, GPS, mobile TV, etc. 3G phones became totally commonplace because now people could do anything on the go with their phones. 4G phones went even farther.
4G mobile phones were faster and more efficient than 3G phones. In the 2010s, these new phones changed everything about mobile phones. They did not have traditional circuit-switched telephone service. Instead, they had all-IP packet-switched networks that allowed for Ultra Mobile Broadband access. These were the first totally Internet-based phones. 5G phones went farther in this concept.
Technology Level: 10
5G phones were a major leap forward over all previous generations. Key features included:
- Pervasive networks that provided ubiquitous computing: Any mobile phone technology could be accessed as long as it was digital.
- Group cooperative relay: Cellular repeaters, macro-diversity techniques, and beam-division multiple access allowed for high bit rates in a larger portion of the cell phone.
- IPv6: This assigned a visiting care-of mobile IP address to any phone depending on location and network.
- High altitude stratospheric station (HAPS) system: This allowed for high-speed Internet service to be delivered over large areas. It was made possible mostly by stratellites.
- Wearable devices with AI capabilities: This allowed greater levels of user interaction and personalization. Cell phones now came in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Some even including brain-computer interfaces allowing people to text by thought, but this was rare because a whole lot of mental concentration was required.
- One unified global standard: This meant that every phone was compatible no matter the brand or model.
5G technology was researched in Surrey starting in 2013. It would take 10 years for the technology to become ready for the world stage. In 2023, the first 5G phone came out. It was an immediate sensation. 5G phones would soon overtake all other generations to become the most common phone until the 6G standard came into existance. (Note: The 6G standard as a whole will not be covered in any page of this scenario, but some of the technologies involved will.)