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5G refers to the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019; it is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones. Like its predecessors, 5G networks are cellular networks, in which the service area is divided into small geographical areas called cells. All 5G wireless devices in a cell are connected to the Internet and telephone network by radio waves through a local antenna in the cell. The main advantage of the new networks is that they will have greater bandwidth, allowing higher download speeds, eventually up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). Due to the increased bandwidth, the expectation is that the new networks will not just serve cellphones like existing cellular networks, but also be used as general Internet service providers for laptops and desktop computers, competing with existing ISPs such as cable Internet, an potentially for self-driving cars. Existing 4G cellphones will not be able to use the new networks, as a 5G modem is required.

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