Wide area networks, WAN or 3/4G to you and me are always getting better. They’re not only faster, but the technology also gets better and better too, all in an effort to connect people, businesses and gadgets as seamlessly as possible.
5G has been around for about a year now in largely rumour format but at WMC this week it seems to be coming back a little bit into the forefront of the markets thinking, It will ultimately take over as the latest and greatest way we are allowed to communicate to each other but just what will the benefits be?
Well for starters 5G will bring a further speed boost to us all. Rumours are that speeds over over 1000MBPS will be attained via 5G technology and to put that into perspective 4G should attain 100MBPS, but is normally around the 15-40MBPS mark for most of us in the UK. 3G gets up to about 7MBPS with the reality being fairly close to that if you’re in the right place. So, speed is definitely going to be a super upgrade to what we have now. Whilst most people will be sat there thinking just what do we need all that speed and bandwidth for, its not just about the speed per se, its also about creating a platform that can spark up innovation. Without the promise of 4G for example, we’d probably not have seen the growth in video demand, Quad or 4K movies and many more new types of services that were simply impossible to dream about on 3G, so get ready for some serious new stuff.
The technology that 5G uses is also a big step up from 4G we have today. 5G networks are supposedly being built to have near on zero latency when it comes to actual communication between clients. Whilst 4G has been a vast improvement, 5G promises near immediate response from clients. To put this into perspective, it might well mean the difference between being able to control a drone, car even medical robot over the mobile network reliably and with huge accuracy. Something that is simply not a reality with today’s 4G platforms, but not so far away for us to not envisage.
What innovation will 5G drive?
At first glance it’s not bso easy to work that out but then if you step back and just take the time to appreciate 1000MBPS with zero latency then suddenly all the stuff we see that doesn’t work today might just become a reality if running over a 5G network. Self driving cars for example, really struggle with latency so have to be built to be able to run offline currently which is a major hindrance to the development and acceptance of them. If they could reliably all talk to each other in real time over a mobile 5G network then just think how that market could change, develop and ultimately flourish.
VR could also change into the super real-time social tool it is aspiring to be with the ability to don your goggles and perhaps a suit taking you to actual places and giving you experiences that we dare not to dream about just yet.
Drones could also get a huge boost with 5G networking technology. They are crying out for some kind of constant connection, super fast and latency free technology and this market would probably be the first we actually see succeeding.
I can;t let this go by without mentioning IOT as well. One of the biggest problems of IOT is the ability to get all these small little sensors to talk to each other in real-time and then to do something wonderful with all of this new information gathered. My head practically explodes thinking about what IOT v2 o v3 will look like under a 5G umbrella. If they can get the battery consumption right, then we could see an end to WiFi tethering of all these technologies.
Just these few areas alone have the potential to change our world but you can bet your life that there’ll also be new ones that slap us across the face that some clever people thought up too.
Who will be the losers?
Well 5G also has the ability to disrupt markets hugely and I say its probably about time. Your broadband home connection for example will be a thing of the past for starters. Why would you need a 100MB fixed connection that’s actually as unreliable as they come if your phone had 10 times that speed and capability? In my opinion we’ve been locked in, tricked, duped and essentially ripped off by these companies for too long anyway.
Like with all new technologies the incumbents often don;t win, so expect to the classic mobile networks to struggle to keep up with new emerging businesses taking the lead in 5G. Ditto on my opinion here!!
With talk of internet access becoming a right in the next 20 years and also rumours of 5G being here a lot sooner than we all might have thought, I for one am really excited about all of this. I just hope all this wonderful technology we’re struggling to see work today then has a platform to become a reality for us all.