This year's technology trade show CES has been described as the start of the 5G era of mobile technology. 

The next-generation mobile network technology is expected to bring connectivity speeds vastly faster than existing 4G networks and is currently being tested by multiple firms around the world - including Vodafone. 

At CES, the technology is being touted by hundreds of firms as the means to transfer data quickly enough to power the next generation of gadgets - including robots and driverless cars. 

Speaking on stage at the convention in Las Vegas, Michael Kassan, chief executive of digital strategy advisory firm MediaLink said: "CES 2019 is, for all intents and purposes, the dawn of 5G." 

In their press conference at the event technology giant Samsung teased their first 5G-enabled smartphone, confirming it would be announced this year. 

Other firms, including chipmaker Qualcomm and Intel are also demonstrating early versions of 5G devices at the convention. 

CES is the largest trade show for the technology industry and is expected to draw more than 180,000 visitors before it closes tomorrow. 

"CES embodies the innovative spirit that defines the consumer technology industry - and the products and services launching here this week will empower citizens around the globe and change our world for the better," commented Gary Shapiro, president of the show's organiser the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). 

"The entire technology ecosystem is gathered at CES 2019, with the latest in 5G, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities, sports tech, 8K video technology, robotics and more," he said.

"With every major and emerging industry here at the show, CES 2019 is truly the global hub for innovation," he added. 

However, the event has not been without controversy after a female sex toy firm claimed it was stripped of an award in a move it called "gender bias".

Lora DiCarlo said its Ose Massager won an Innovation Award but was then stripped of it, with the CTA citing it did not fall into any suitable product categories.

The firm's boss Lora Haddock pointed to virtual reality porn being on show at the event and previous criticism of the show's lack of female speakers as signs of "demonstrable issues with diversity".