5th generation wireless systems, abbreviated 5G, are improved wireless network technologies deploying in 2018 and later. The primary technologies include: Millimeter wave bands (26, 28, 38, and 60 GHz) offer performance as high as 20 gigabits per second; Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output - 64-256 antennas) offers performance "up to ten times current 4G networks;" "Low-band 5G" and "Mid-band 5G" use frequencies from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, especially 3.5-4.2 GHz.
The 3GPP Release 15 of December, 2017 is the most common definition of 5G. Some prefer the more rigorous ITU IMT-2020 definition, which only includes the high-frequency bands for much higher speeds.
The millimeter wave systems are designed for 20 gigabit peak downloads. Their estimated median bandwidth is 3.5 gigabits.  The estimated median bandwidth for the band of 3.5 GHz-4.2 GHz with additional MIMO antennas is 490 megabits. In mid-band frequencies, the modeled 5G speed is very similar to the 4G LTE speed, assuming the same bandwidth and antenna configuration.
Most large mobile networks are testing all three approaches. Verizon and AT&T announced millimeter wave commercial deployments for 2018. Softbank deployed Massive MIMO beginning in 2016. In 2018 T-Mobile announced low band 5G for 30 cities. China Telecom's initial 5G buildout will be mid-band.
As of 2017, development of 5G is being led by several companies, including Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, Nokia, Huawei, Ericsson, ZTE and others. Although 5G is planned to be commercially available worldwide by 2020, South Korea demonstrated 5G at the 2018 Winter Olympics for the visitors. In 2018 Verizon plans to roll out 5G FWA across the 4 cities in the U.S., Sacramento, L.A, Indianapolis and Houston.
- In April 2008, NASA partnered with Geoff Brown and Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp to develop 5G communication technology.
- In 2008, the South Korean IbjngT R&D program of "5G mobile communication systems based on beam-division multiple access and relays with group cooperation" was formed.
- In August 2012, New York University founded NYU WIRELESS, a multi-disciplinary academic research centre that has worked in 5G wireless communications.
- On 8 October 2012, the UK's University of Surrey secured £35M for a new 5G research centre, jointly funded by the British government's UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) and a consortium of key international mobile operators and infrastructure providers, including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde & Schwarz, and Aircom International. It will offer testing facilities to mobile operators keen to develop a mobile standard that uses less energy and less radio spectrum while delivering speeds faster than current 4G with aspirations for the new technology to be ready within a decade.
- On 1 November 2012, the EU project "Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society" (METIS) started its activity towards the definition of 5G. METIS achieved an early global consensus on these systems. In this sense, METIS played an important role of building consensus among other external major stakeholders prior to global standardization activities. This was done by initiating and addressing work in relevant global fora (e.g. ITU-R), as well as in national and regional regulatory bodies.
- Also in November 2012, the iJOIN EU project was launched, focusing on "small cell" technology, which is of key importance for taking advantage of limited and strategic resources, such as the radio wave spectrum. According to Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society (2014–19), "an innovative utilization of spectrum" is one of the key factors at the heart of 5G success. Oettinger further described it as "the essential resource for the wireless connectivity of which 5G will be the main driver". iJOIN was selected by the European Commission as one of the pioneering 5G research projects to showcase early results on this technology at the Mobile World Congress 2015 (Barcelona, Spain).
- In February 2013, ITU-R Working Party 5D (WP 5D) started two study items: (1) Study on IMT Vision for 2020 and beyond, and; (2) Study on future technology trends for terrestrial IMT systems. Both aiming at having a better understanding of future technical aspects of mobile communications towards the definition of the next generation mobile.
- On 12 May 2013, Samsung Electronics stated that they have developed a "5G" system. The core technology has a maximum speed of tens of Gbit/s (gigabits per second). In testing, the transfer speeds for the "5G" network sent data at 1.056 Gbit/s to a distance of up to 2 kilometres.with the use of an 8*8 MIMO.
- On 6 November 2013, Huawei announced plans to invest a minimum of $600 million into R&D for next generation 5G networks capable of speeds 100 times faster than modern LTE networks.
- In September 2014 "Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications" authored by researcher: Theodore Rappaport (NYU), Robert Heath (UTAustin), Robert Daniels (UTAustin), and James Murdock (UTAustin).
- On 7 July 2016 European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger received the 5G Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe which sets out industry recommendations on how the EU can support and foster 5G innovation and deployment, and timelines for 5G demonstrations and commercial deployment, signed by representatives of BT Group, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Hutchison Whampoa Europe, Inmarsat, Nokia, Orange, Proximus, KPN, SES, Tele2, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, Telia Company and Vodafone.
- On 14 July 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously passed a proposal to free up vast amounts of new bandwidth in the underutilised high-band spectrum for the next generation of wireless communications (5G). The Spectrum Frontiers Proposal (SFP) will double the amount of millimeter-wave (mmWave) unlicensed spectrum to 14 GHz and create four times the amount of flexible, mobile-use spectrum the FCC has licensed to date.
- On 17 October 2016, Qualcomm announced the first 5G modem, the Snapdragon X50, as the first commercial 5G mobile chipset.
- On 18 July 2017, the 28 telecom ministers of the EU and Norway signed a declaration of intent in Tallinn, Estonia, seeking "…to establish a common baseline on future 5G standards and confirm the willingness of member states to position Europe as the lead market for 5G."
- On 19 January 2018, Nokia and Rostelecom started 5G test site in Skolkovo Innovation Center.
- On 9 February 2018, South Korea deployed 5G at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- On 2 March 2018, European Union lawmakers struck a deal on opening up the 3.6 and 26 GHz bands by 2020 to make room for the new network.
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Some of the world biggest telecoms firms have joined forces with the UK government to fund a new 5G research center. The facility, to be based at the University of Surrey, will offer testing facilities to operators keen to develop a mobile standard that uses less energy and less radio spectrum, while delivering faster speeds than current 4G technology that's been launched in around 100 countries, including several British cities. They say the new tech could be ready within a decade.
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Major players of 5G 
- Rappaport, Theodore; Heath Jr, Robert; Daniels, Robert; Murdock, James (28 September 2014). Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications (1 ed.). Prentice Hall. p. 704. ISBN 0132172283. A technical overview of potential 5G technologies, including standards for major global 60 GHz wireless local-area networks (WLAN) and personal local-area networks (WPAN).
- Osseiran, Afif; Monserrat, Jose F., Marsch, Patrick (2 June 2016). 5G Mobile and Wireless Communications Technology (1 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p 410. ISBN 9781107130098. Written by leading experts in 5G research, this book is a comprehensive overview of the current state of 5G.