Better, Faster, Stronger: How 5G Is Going To Change The Way We Interact With Our Smartphones
How 5G will influence the way we use smartphones
Arrival of 5G and its potential impact on network speeds
Consolidation of IoT in daily life after the entry of 5G
With unprecedented speed for mobile, apps and cloud computing, 5G will change the way of conducting business as well as entertainment.
The arrival of 5G will dramatically improve the network speeds currently available on 4G
The faster speed and bandwidth of 5G will transform the capability of mobile networking
5G will consolidate the Internet of Things in daily business and recreational life.
Just as Moore’s Law dictates that computer processing power doubles every two years, so the speed of mobile networking has accelerated at a relentless pace. From the first analog radio networks in 1979 to today’s super fast 4G LTE networks, mobile networking emulates the incredible step-change of aeronautics, which graduated from powered flight to a moon landing in just 66 years.
5G represents the latest pinnacle in mobile networking achievement, with unprecedented speed for mobile, apps and cloud computing. It is not without controversy, and has yet to be rolled out beyond the testing stage, but given that 100,000 premises in Ireland still lack access to fast, reliable internet, the effects will be dramatic.
What Is 5G?
The introduction of 5G presents a new frontier in frequency, wavelength and infrastructure. Currently, 4G networks operate at wavelengths below 6 GHz, delivering speeds around 50Mb/s at best. This is enough to allow fast mobile streaming, IoT connectivity and roaming across some but not all areas.
5G ramps up the speed, density and latency, with higher frequency bands between 30 and 300GHz delivering speeds up to 5Gb/s, a one hundred-fold increase. Unmatched speed will inevitably be the headline-grabber, but the real difference will be felt in density and latency.
5G will allow high volume connectivity without bottlenecking and information exchange in milliseconds rather than seconds. As a result, 5G secures processes that are currently too risky with 4G networks, such as driverless cars, financial services trading platforms and life support systems that require 100% uptime.
How Will 5G Influence The Internet Of Things?
4G unleashed a new era in consumer mobile. 5G is really about business. The major network operators will no doubt trumpet speed as the USP, but consumers already have the capability to stream video to a mobile without significant interruption.
5G, on the other hand, will consolidate wireless networking at the heart of healthcare, agriculture, entertainment, transport and more. It will make the Internet of Things (IoT) not just useful, but indispensable.
5G will transform these areas:
- Transportation– driverless cars that communicate constantly with GPS data.
- Healthcare– extending support to remote communities and gathering data through wearable tech.
- Retail– agile digital signage, personalised digital marketing, supply chain efficiency and self-ordering consumables.
- Manufacturing and industry– full integration of automation and AI
The ‘hidden’ aspect to 5G is that it will collect a continuous stream of business data – not just personal identifiers but 24/7 insight into consumer behaviour and device performance. By 2020, there will be more than 31 billion devices connected to the internet. Humans will be in the minority.
Manufacturers will be able to monitor, troubleshoot and optimise machinery to maximise efficiency in real time, cutting down the potential for human error. Smart cities will be able to leverage machine learning and AI to route traffic or regulate energy consumption while retailers can offer personalised customer experiences.
What Benefits Does 5G Bring?
Speed matters, at home as much as in the office, but we are already spoilt for fast mobile connectivity. Where 5G sets a new standard is in quality and consistency. 5G means video conferencing without buffering or lag, the capability to transmit 3D simulations or VR sessions without cannibalising bandwidth, and the promise of always-on, fast mobile without peaks or bottlenecks in performance.
It is the network that will finally bring globalisation home. Today, businesses can hold Zoom or Skype conferences with overseas teams, but inevitably the connection speed and reliability of the conferencing software makes its presence felt throughout the session.
With 5G, teams can not only communicate across time zones and locations, but actually collaborate seamlessly. Crucially, 5G slashes the amount of energy required to power that data, with a 90% reduction in energy usage.
When Can We Expect 5G?
Make no mistake, 5G presents an enormous technical and infrastructure challenge. Because the higher frequency of 5G is more vulnerable to interference from buildings or structures, the system will require a brand new rollout of antennas.
This has already been achieved in six UK cities, but realistically 5G won’t be up and running before 2022. Even then, the benefits won’t be felt in an international business sense until all markets are up to speed. Good news if you’re doing business with South Korea or Japan, but delays possible if you’re working with countries that don’t have the government investment in 5G infrastructure.
We’re still in the phase of getting excited about what 5G might do rather than focusing on how we’ll actually integrate it in our own operations. Note, too, that the system is being installed in pilot locations at the moment without any regulated testing about potential health risks, which could mean legal challenges to come.
However, there is every reason to get excited. Just as the industrial revolution provided the manufacturing and transport innovation to unleash a new wave of achievements, so 5G should provide the digital infrastructure to enshrine cloud-based, mobile communication and collaboration at the heart of business.