AP Explains: What is "5G" wireless, and should you care?

AP Explains: What is 5G wireless, and should you care?
FILE- In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo a sign advertises 5G at the Qualcomm booth at CES International in Las Vegas. 5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency,” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the internet without bogging it down. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A much-hyped network upgrade called “5G” means different things to different people.

To industry proponents, it’s the next huge innovation in wireless internet. To the U.S. government, it’s the backbone technology of a future that America will wrestle with China to control. To many average people, it’s simply a mystery.

5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks that promises faster speeds and less lag. A true U.S. mobile rollout will start in 2019. It will take a few years to go national.

Interest in 5G goes well beyond engineers: In Washington, there are fears that China could take the lead in developing the technology and sell equipment that could be used to spy on Americans.