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ITU reveals 5G specs including 20Gbps download speeds and 4ms latency

(Image credit: Image Credit: Supparsorn / Shutterstock)

According to the latest draft report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) published on Thursday, the upcoming 5G standard must support up to one million connected devices per square kilometre and each single 5G cell will be required to have a total download capacity of 20Gbps. 

These and a number of other specifications for the latest network standard were detailed in ITU's report.  Although the report is currently a draft, it is likely that the technical requirements for 5G will be approved this November.  At that time, telecoms and chipset manufacturers can truly begin building the necessary technologies to power their 5G networks and devices. 

5G will require at least 20Gbps downlink and 10Gbps uplink per each single cell.  In an effort to prepare for how the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices will affect the network, the ITU is also requiring the new standard to support at least 1 million devices per square kilometre.  IoT is currently an emerging technology but once more consumers and businesses adopt it, 5G networks will need to be adequately prepared to handle the increased demand.

Latency will also be improved by the new standard with the maximum latency of 5G set at 4ms.  Currently LTE cells have a much higher maximum latency of 20ms.  The ITU has even called for a 1ms latency for ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC). 

5G technology is still a ways off from being ready for consumer devices but this report does offer us a clear idea of what to expect over the course of the next two years as manufacturers and telecoms prepare to implement it in their networks and devices. 

Image Credit: Supparsorn / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.