Here’s when 5G could make an actual difference in your life

By: JESSICA DOLCOURT

There are so many promises about how faster 5G data will transform our lives, it sometimes feels mythical. Though lightning-fast download speeds are slowly coming to more carriers and phones, the prospects of self-driving cars talking to each other, remote surgery and 5G replacing your home Wi-Fi feel like the stuff of a still-distant future. But at last, we’re finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Qualcomm, which makes the 5G chips and modems that every 5G phone in the US will rely on, shared a road map (scroll down to see the slides) that spells out when we might start seeing 5G improvements beyond just fast download speeds. Qualcomm isn’t the only major 5G player, of course — HuaweiNokia and Ericsson are all leaders, too — but Qualcomm’s investments in 5G research and development mean that it has a strong hand in getting the next wave of 5G benefits off the ground. So, its timeline is a good place to start.

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