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18 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 As our consumer electronics reporter, Tech- nology Editor Dan Feinberg has been following 5G for years, since it was a vague idea. For this issue, I asked Dan to give us a breakdown on what 5G is, what it means to our industry, and why moving from 4G to 5G is such a big deal. Andy Shaughnessy: Our current cellular tech- nology is 4G, so why is 5G worrying so many people in the PCB industry and electronics in general? In short, what's the big deal? Dan Feinberg: I'm not sure if it is worrying them, but it will be a challenge for the designers. The big deal is quantum-level improvements in speed, throughput, etc. Some carriers are con- cerned, however, and that could cause delays. When the carriers upgraded their mobile net- works from 3G to 4G some several years ago, it required many billions of dollars in investment in equipment and infrastructure. Initially, the investment did not really yield higher profits. What 4G did eventually was attract new cus- tomers, and expand the potential market. Be aware that voice calls seem to be the best revenue stream for the carriers, and younger callers, who make up the majority of new users, seem to make fewer voice calls. They instead communicate live on iMessage or Whatsapp and a variety of other apps. Also, there is the belief that all things tech should get less costly and the newer generation believes that tech- nology should get cheaper quickly. Therefore, there has to be some concern by the carriers that their vast sums of additional investment might not yield expected returns. Shaughnessy: What are some of the hurdles and questions facing cellular companies who want to launch 5G networks this year? Feinberg: There are lots of questions regarding 5G that will have to be answered, especially in the next year. First of all, what will we use the initial 5G networks for? Will it be cellular or perhaps to replace aging cable or other high- speed data transmission? Another question is

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