[11/12/2019] 5G & the Future of Connectivity

On the evening of Oct. 29, 1969, the first message was sent over the ARPANET—what we now know as the Internet. Charley Kline, a student at the University of California, typed “Lo” and then the system crashed. On the second try, he successfully typed “Login.” 50 years after the birth of the Internet, 5G networks are now promising continued advancement in how we connect. This week’s lecture will explore the emerging technologies in connectivity and consider what the future has in store.

by Eunju Namkung and Scott Talan

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for 5G & the Future of Connectivity



IEEE Spectrum: Everything You Need to Know About 5G


Bloomberg: Why Smartphones Stopped Being Cool


BBC Click: Vint Cerf Talks The Future Of The Internet





  • Writing: What precautions should we take as a nation and as individuals to make sure that the capability for 5G is used to improve people’s lives? Do you anticipate that any problems or conflicts could be worsened with the onset of more advanced connected networks?
  • Debate: 5G may facilitate the expansion of the ecosystem of connected devices (Internet of Things). Is there greater risk or reward with a more advanced Internet of Things?
  • Poll: Do you agree or disagree with this statement: 5G will revolutionize my life for the better!
    • Agree: 5G will improve my life.
    • Disagree: 5G will be inconvenient or disruptive to my life.
    • Neither: 5G will not contribute any change to my life.
  • Short Answer: What capabilities would you want the future of the Internet and connected networks to provide to you?


Current Events Quiz

  1. Lennar Homes was featured in the NPR article, “A Smart Home Neighborhood: Residents Find It Enjoyably Convenient Or A Bit Creepy.” What does Lennar Homes specialize in?

a. Building luxury apartment buildings that have top-notch security features, including video surveillance

b. Retrofitting old homes with fiber and voice recognition technology

c. Building homes that have Amazon smart home technology as a standard

d. Building homes that are “off-the-grid,” meaning they can generate their own power


  1. Baltimore already has more than 600 small cell wireless facilities. Where are these facilities located?

a. On streetlights and utility poles

b. At the tops of buildings that are at least three stories tall

c. Throughout parks and government buildings

d. On parking meters


  1. Which statement is true about the state of 5G in the United States?

a. 5G is primarily available in only certain cities, and carriers have ambitious plans to continue expanding 5G capability.

b. 5G is not yet available anywhere in the U.S.

c. 5G was piloted in rural areas of the U.S. and the results of the pilot program indicate that there is little demand for 5G in the U.S.

d. 5G was piloted only in the Midwest and carriers are ambitiously trying to expand it to other regions.


  1. In the IEEE Spectrum video, “Everything You Need to Know About 5G,” Massive MIMO is described as a technology that allows base stations to have up to 100 ports to increase their capacity by 22 or more (compared to 4G base stations). What does MIMO stand for?

a. More Internet Maximum Overlay

b. Multiple Internet Modem Outputs

c. Multiple Input Multiple Output

d. Maximum Interface Modulation Overpass


  1. In the BBC Click video, Vint Cerf, co-founder of the Internet, emphasizes that the future of the Internet will be:

a. Driven by Gen Z

b. Used to explore the core of the Earth

c. Interplanetary

d. Embedded into human bodies



Featured image credit: Nebraska Library Commission

Leave a Reply