Every carrier is clamoring to roll out a 5G network, or at least something they can reasonably market as 5G. After a long, long development period, the 3GPP wireless governance organization has released the first official 5G standard, known as 5G NR. Formalizing the 5G standard gives carriers and hardware makers the pieces they need to begin moving full speed ahead toward a 5G future. Maybe we can get this transition done without anyone re-branding their 4G service as 5G.

The final technical details of the 5G NR will be available later this week when the full standard specifications are released (the documents will be available on the 3GPP portal). For now, we know it will cover wireless bands from 600MHz all the way up to millimeter wave signals in the 50GHz range. Sprint is making sure everyone knows its 2.5GHz band is included in 5G NR, which makes it the largest holder of sub-6GHz 5G spectrum.

It's up to carriers and hardware makers to get 5G support up and running. Some carriers have already announced intentions to roll out 5G networks in the next year or two, but consumer implementations will take time. Even when we do get 5G hardware, it probably won't live up to the hype right away. 4G was supposed to allow for 100Mbps when moving and 1Gbps when stationary, and that still hasn't happened. 5G is expected to support theoretical speeds in the tens of gigabits per second. It may even become a viable replacement for wireline home internet service.