5G: The next generation of mobile data
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
The truth of the matter is, mobile data connectivity is continuously increasing, with billions of people a day accessing the internet via their phones. Trends suggest that the amount of data being transmitted over mobile networks will increase 8x by 2024. Simply put, the world needs faster mobile data connectivity, the world needs 5G.
What is 5G?
Technology has come a long way since the days of 1G which was just mobile voice calls, all the way to 4G which was web browsing at higher speeds and mobile video consumption. 5G has taken things to a whole new level. The fifth generation of mobile internet is set to change the way we interact with each other forever. Faster data download & upload speeds, wider network coverage and more established connections. According to Sony Ericsson, there will be 9 billion mobile subscriptions, of which 1 billion will be on 5G services.
The introduction of 5G opens up multiple avenues to take us to new realms of possibilities such as;
- Self-Driving Cars: the functioning of autonomous cars will need 5G connection to update live satellite data whilst on the road.
- 4K/8K streaming: 5G networks will also have the capabilities of supporting 4K/8K gaming and streaming services.
- Mobile Augmented Reality: will provide customers with the ability to download more details about products whilst in the store.
- Remote Healthcare: ‘telemedicine’ becomes a more feasible option with 5G speeds. GPs will be able to provide consultation over video conferencing means with minuscule lag.
Is the UK’s Infrastructure ready?
As with all major technological changes, infrastructure and hardware will have to be adjusted accordingly. Most of the market’s current phones don’t support 5G networks, even the latest iPhone doesn’t cater for it. There are only a handful of mobile handsets that have 5G capabilities, notably the latest Samsung Note 10+ and OnePlus Pro 7.
Even at that, the availability of 5G across the country is limited with plans to enrol it more widespread in motion. As of today, EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three have 5G data plans available in certain areas across the UK.
EE outrightly claims that its users should see speeds of up to 130-240mbps, there are even rumours circulating that a speed of 1Gbps is possible in some areas. While Three is boasting its network could peak at 2Gbps. On paper, these speeds are achievable but in the real world, different factors always come into play. Where a person is in relation to the base station or depending on how many users are using the network will affect download speeds.
In a world where people are becoming lazier and more impatient, technology is taking advantage of those character traits. 5G data connectivity is facilitating our incessant need to access things quickly, giving us little to no lag time. On a side note, although our devices will now be processing greater speeds, 5G is expected to be very efficient for battery life.
From a business perspective, 5G offers a number of advantages. Of course, productivity will be improved as companies will be able to work at a faster rate due to greater connectivity speeds. The introduction of 5G also allows more users to remote work as 5G connectivity will provide them with the platform to work anywhere.
Although the introduction of 5G connectivity is a game-changer, there are still many barriers to its successful implementation. Location, availability and infrastructure are all integral factors that need to be reviewed going into the new decade. The fifth generation of mobile internet is transforming the way we interact, consume and process our daily activities.