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Introduction to 5G and Wireless Mobile Communications

Delve into the history of wireless mobile communications and explore what the future may hold for 5G technology.

Two hands are connecting from smartphone with light trails through wireless 5G

Examine 5G technology and the future of wireless communication

5G is expected to bring with it revolutionary changes to not only personal communication, but sectors including healthcare, education, agriculture, and more.

On this course, you’ll take an in-depth look at the development of mobile technology and explore the future of mobile communication, positioning 5G as one of the key drivers of the Internet of Things and Industrial 4.0 technologies.

Discover the first generations of mobile technology, from 1G to the present day

Starting with 1G wireless networks, you’ll journey through forty years of mobile development, exploring each generation and its impact on communication and data delivery.

You’ll examine key terminology including cells, frequency, and bandwidth, giving you a fundamental understanding of mobile communication infrastructure.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to plot the evolution of mobile technology and identify advantages and problems with each generation.

Explore the advent of mobile internet

As mobiles moved from 2G to 3G and then 4G technology, users became less focused on direct communication and more interested in social connectivity.

You’ll track these technological advancements and learn how 4G revolutionised the infrastructure of wireless communication, paving the way for dramatic developments in smartphone technology.

Investigate the future of wireless technology

Building on your understanding of previous generations, you’ll delve into 5G and what the future holds in terms of Long Term Evolution.

You’ll be able to define what separates 5G and 4G technology, and identify targets for 5G development.

Using this knowledge, you’ll be able to predict the next steps in mobile communication and discuss its potential impact on our social, professional, and personal lives.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds What if you could learn about 5G and wireless communication in just two weeks? 5G is everywhere, or it certainly feels like that. Stories of “5G cities”, fantastical theories and speculation about how the fifth generation of wireless communication will revolutionise our digital lifestyles are ubiquitous. But what is 5G? How does it work? And most importantly, does it live up to its own publicity? This course, brought to you in partnership with PACKT, will analyse the forebearers of 5G, exploring the evolution of wireless technology, beginning with 1G and following the journey it has taken through 2G, 3G and 4G, to reach its newest iteration, paying specific attention to the issue that paved the way for each consequent update.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds Along the way, you will be guided by the experts at the Cerulean Academy. They will introduce you to new ideas and explore how updates in technology influence the future of wireless technology. By the end of this course, you will have explored the history of previous wireless telecom technologies and will have gained the fundamental knowledge of 5G wireless technology.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds More specifically you will: Discuss the fundamentals of 5G wireless technology. Describe the intentions and limitations of 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G. Explain the history of previous wireless telecom technologies. Debate the future of 5G technology. Whatever your motivations for studying this exciting and ever-evolving subject, whether you are passionate about the future of wireless technologies or you are interested in moving into the field, this course provides an excellent introduction to the subject. And studying on FutureLearn gives you the freedom to learn wherever you are; whether you’re at home, on your commute, or on your lunch break. You can log in on your phone, laptop or tablet and pick up where you left off. Study how and when you choose.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 seconds So please step into your future with introduction to 5G and wireless mobile communication from PACKT and FutureLearn.


  • Week 1

    History of 5G: 1G to 3G

    • Welcome to 5G and Wireless Communication for Beginners

      This activity welcomes you to 5G and Wireless Communication for Beginners.

    • Introduction: 1G is where all of it began

      In this activity, we are going to look at the origins of 5G, as we explore how it all began with 1G.

    • Going digital with 2G

      In this activity, we look at 2G and consider the intent and issues associated with this development.

    • Expanding mobile internet with 3G

      In this activity, we explore the next development on the way to 5G: 3G.

    • Summarising JavaScript Essentials

      This activity will summarise your week of learning and ask you to reflect on what you have discovered this week.

  • Week 2

    From 4G to 5G and beyond

    • Welcome to Week 2: From 4G to 5G and beyond

      This activity will introduce you to this week's topic.

    • Higher-further-faster with 4G

      In this activity, we will take a look at the actions that were taken to make 4G possible.

    • Opening up the future with 5G

      This activity will focus on how 5G is aiming for a smarter world and has the potential to be the most lucrative technology for service providers ever.

    • 5G update - 2020

      This activity will focus on the growing developments of 5G with market insights and technical implementations.

    • Summarising 4G to 5G and beyond

      This activity will summarise your week of learning and ask you to reflect on what you have discovered this week.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the fundamentals of 5G wireless technology.
  • Describe the intentions and limitations of 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.
  • Explain the history of previous wireless telecom technologies.
  • Debate the future of 5G technology.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in mobile communications and wireless technology.

It is particularly suitable for those considering a career in mobile communications and networks, giving a historical overview of wireless technological development and the potential future of mobile communications.

What software or tools do you need?

No requirements

Who developed the course?


Founded in 2004 in Birmingham, UK, Packt’s mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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