Within the next few years, your phone’s data connection could get 30 to 50 times faster.
On Tuesday, Verizon said that it will begin testing its 5G wireless network by 2016, four years earlier than had been expected.
The nation’s largest carrier is currently building 5G testing areas in Waltham, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California.
According to Verizon, 5G is faster than the fastest wired connections found in homes today.
CNET’s Roger Cheng lays out some scenarios possible using a 5G connection. Downloading the movie “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is just over two hours, takes about 6 minutes using a 4G network, he notes, but on 5G, it would be done in 15 seconds.
A 5G connection is also fast enough for people in New York to watch a surgeon operating in Tokyo in real time, Cheng writes.
“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future,” Verizon’s Gurnani said in a press release.
Even though the company said that it expects to be testing 5G by next year, Verizon is being cagey about exactly the general public will be able to use the new technology.
Major advances in network technology, like the jump from 3G to 4G, have traditionally taken about 10 years. Research on 5G has been underway since as early as 2008, and Huawei and Ericsson started testing speeds faster than 4G in the Netherlands earlier this year, according to the Financial Times.