The dominant mobile communication technology in the U.S., fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE), first appeared in December 2010 when Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) rolled out a commercial network to customers in several dozen cities.
But today, mobile operators and telecommunication equipment companies around the world are hard at work developing the technologies and hardware systems required to bring the fifth-generation (5G) of mobile networking to market.
And it’s coming to America soon…
Notably, 5G promises vast improvements in speed, responsiveness, and scale to support all kinds of bandwidth-hungry applications and technologies.
Mobile operators expect to deliver 5G mobile download speeds in the gigabits-per-second range. That would be over 100 times faster than existing 4G LTE technology.
Aside from raw speed, perhaps the most transformative feature of 5G technology is its ability to accommodate the tens of billions of connected devices, smart objects, and embedded sensors expected to come online in the coming years as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality.
Here are three of the top 5G equipment stocks building and enabling this new technology today…
No. 3: Ericsson
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is a Swedish telecommunication equipment and services company with a market cap of $39 billion and roughly 100,000 employees.
The company's three major operating segments are networks, digital services, and managed services.
Ericsson sells hardware, software, and services primarily to communication service providers while licensing patents to handset manufacturers.
As the leading supplier withing the telecommunications equipment sector, Ericsson operates at the forefront of 5G hardware development.
The company participates in field trials and research programs with mobile operators around the world, including Verizon, AT&T (T), China Mobile (CHL), and South Korea's SK Telecom Company Ltd. (SKM), among many others.
Ericsson's 5G radio prototype, which provides 5G wireless network access, has been widely deployed for real-world testing in the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and Sweden.
These prototypes incorporate a bundle of cutting-edge technologies, including new antenna and receiver technology, to bring the promise of 5G to reality.
Ericsson's development of 5G technology also informs ongoing advancements in its 4G LTE equipment business.
No. 2: Nokia
Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) is a Finnish telecommunications equipment and data networking company with a market capitalization of $27 billion.
The company's network business derives revenue from selling wireless and fixed-line hardware, software, and services.
Nokia's technology segment licenses its patent portfolio to handset manufacturers and makes royalties from Nokia-branded cellphones.
Like Ericsson, Nokia has entered advanced testing phases on new 5G radio access products for eventual deployment by mobile operators around the world.
It has ongoing collaborative research and testing programs with Verizon, China Mobile, SK Telecom, Japan's NTT Docomo Inc. (DCM), and Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY), among others.
Nokia expects a full 5G rollout in the following years.
In early 2016, Nokia acquired a 91.8% ownership stake in Alcatel Lucent S.A. (ALU.PA), a French telecommunications equipment company with its own advanced 5G development program.
Nokia could use the acquisition in its 5G development plans.
Apple is expected to release its brand-new 5G iPhone on or around September 22.
And this device will be in every single one of them…
You won't find this device in your current phone.
It's absolutely critical to powering 5G speeds in all 100 million 5G iPhones likely to be sold this year.
You could almost consider it a “master key” to 5G access.
Take a look at this urgent video.