Have you heard about 5G yet? If not, it’s about time that you have…
5G stands for ‘fifth generation mobile networks’ and is the natural upgrade on the mobile network that you’re probably using now, 4G. 4G was introduced in 2010, to help accelerate high tech mobile phone internet, video streaming and gaming developments. Since this introduction, 4G has changed the world. Our technological capabilities have grown exponentially. Since 2010 we have seen the rapid growth of online streaming sites such as Twitch and YouTube, along with the huge development of mobile phones and games consoles. Without this high-speed internet connection, none of these things would’ve been possible. Up until recently, this 4G network has been more than enough to power our everyday needs. However, as the world of tech continues to adapt to the demands of the people rapidly, this 4G network is no longer good enough, thus leading to the development of the 5g network.
Why do we need 5G?
4G is currently only capable of operating at the low latency of between 40ms and 60ms, while although still low, it is not low enough to allow us to have a real-time response (the cause of ‘lag’/delay). On the other hand, 5G is believed to be able to operate at a latency as low as 1ms, which means that the real-time response would be realistically achievable. Allowing us to reach new heights when it comes to VR and AR, an advancement that the market is crying out for. This decreased latency would also mean that the delay we suffer while watching live streams would be almost eliminated, something which would be incredibly beneficial in a world where more and more of us are shutting off our TV’s and watching live events on the internet. Since the boom of smart technology such as the Amazon Alexa and the Google Home, the strain on the bandwidth of 4G continues to rapidly grow, meaning a new network would be needed to be created, to allow more and more connections to the internet. As 4K and even 8K video streaming becomes more and more popular, it is unrealistic to expect the now 8-year-old 4G network to cope with this demand. These are just some of the reasons why we need 5G.
What’s so good about 5G?
Along with being the solution to the many problems mentioned in the previous paragraph, 5G is going to allow us to advance our tech to new levels. 5G is expected to be up to 100x faster than 4G, meaning you could realistically download a full 2-hour HD movie in under 5 seconds. Along with fixing lag on live event streaming and having an increased bandwidth to allow more devices to connect to the internet, 5G will also be fundamental to the development of autonomous cars, as 4G would not be able to provide the reliable, consistent strong internet connection that would be needed. It will also save hundreds of industries such as the medical industry millions of pounds, as the introduction of low-cost holographic video, 3d medical imagery and much more becomes more readily available, thanks to 5G.
So, when will 5G be available?
Although all of this sounds very exciting, when we will see 5G rolled out in the UK is still not entirely set in stone. Tests are ongoing, and developments are still being made before we can get our hands on this super-fast network. Some positive reports claim we will begin to see the rollout as soon as the early months of 2019. However, we will have to wait and see. The goal for 5G is that unlike its predecessors, the network will not need to be replaced, it will merely be improved over time; hence the delay in the rollout, as the engineers involved want to ensure that this ground-breaking development, is done correctly. Regardless, the future looks bright for the 5G network, and the rollout is undoubtedly going to change the world, even more than the introduction of 4G.