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What will cities of the near future look like when buildings, cars, people and a whole slew of other things can communicate with each other?
Earlier this month, tech companies and telecoms at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, tried to answer that question, showing off their plans for 5G—a next-generation wireless network that will enable exponentially faster data processing and media downloads. And while lightning-quick speeds might seem like a small luxury, they’re crucial for enabling everything from self-driving cars and smart grids to a broader Internet of Things that could benefit big-data-minded brands and governments alike.
The infrastructure for 5G is still only beginning—with wider availability not expected until at least 2020—but cities like New York, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Calif.,