The full potential of 4G networks is yet to be seen, but that hasn't stopped operators exploring 5G, as exemplified by the announcement that telco Singtel will collaborate with Ericsson on testing 5G technologies.
As Channel NewsAsia reports, the two companies inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this week to further their knowledge of 5G networks, which they hope will allow them to meet the needs of customers and industries.
They will also research how 4G's successor can help deliver Singapore's vision of being a "smart nation", with both firms confident that 5G will support "very advanced communication needs" in the not-too-distant future.
"This MoU will be a five-year partnership and we will look at some exciting use cases like health, for driverless cars, for sports when you are playing football or basketball - you will be able to trace all your actions and you can look back and see the mistakes you have made," explained Tay Soo Meng, group chief technology officer at Singtel.
The MoU reiterates Singtel's commitment to the development of 5G, with the telco making a similar deal with Chinese IT company Huawei last November.
However, analysts have moved to assure customers that this drive towards 5G will not be at the expense of 4G networks, with 5G only likely to go mainstream after 2020.
Naveen Menon, head of the communications, media and technology practice at A.T. Kearney, estimates that 4G technologies have a lifecycle of around seven to eight years.
"By all means, 5G will be useful and the applications, the hardware, the software and the consumer needs will evolve over time," he said. "But at this particular point in time, 4G has got still a lot of potential and a lot of applications that are still not being used by consumers."