There has been much excitement in the telecoms world of late around 5g, and all the mutterings may have left you wondering what these means for you and possibly your business in terms communications and using your mobile.
Here are 5 things about 5g that you should know:
5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks’. And that’s literally what it is – a fifth generation of mobile network that lets you call, text and get online from your smartphone.
5G has already begun to roll out in countries like the US and South Korea, albeit in strictly limited and non-mobile form. In the UK, the 5G rollout here will also commence this year (2019). The country’s biggest mobile network, EE, has announced that it will be launching a 5G network in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester in the summer – so likely around the middle of the year, and that a further ten cities will get 5G by the end of 2019. Three, Vodafone and O2 have also all now confirmed that they plan to launch 5G before the end of 2019.
One word- speed!
5G will also have greater capacity than ever before, with access to more and higher frequencies. At present the quality of your 4G connection is largely dependent on the number of other mobile device connections in your immediate vicinity. There’s only so much capacity in any given area, which is why you often can’t get a signal at busy events. 5G simply won’t have this problem, with far greater headroom and the ability to scale intelligently according to each individual user’s specific data need.
5G will enable you to download a movie in seconds, or to stream a 4K movie without any buffering. We’re also likely to see a big leap forward in virtual and augmented reality applications, as 5G’s low latency and high capacity will enable advanced processing to be handled remotely rather than locally on mobile devices and headsets.
That greater capacity will also lead to an explosion in IoT (Internet of Things) devices, with everything from fridges and lights to cars and advertising hoardings connecting to one another. The Internet of Things is starting to take off anyway, but with the speed and capacity delivered by 5G we might one day see almost every device become ‘smart’ and connected.
All wireless communications carry over the air via radio frequencies or spectrum. 5G will use higher radio frequencies that are less cluttered and capable of carrying more information at a faster rate.
Yes, you’ll need a 5G-capable phone to connect to 5G, and you’ll be able to get one fairly soon.
In February Samsung announced that its Galaxy S10 5G (see above) would be released during the second half of this year.
A government spokeswoman for the Treasury noted that the chancellor had already committed £1bn to support 5G trials. But many industry experts agree that it won’t be until 2020 before the earliest 5G technologies begin to touch most consumers.
Watch this space!