Mobile connectivity has revolutionised the way we live our lives. Smart phones are now the most intensively used electronic device with usage in adults forecasted to rise to 88% by mid 2018. Their ability to access and connect to the internet is now more of a necessity than a luxury and in order to keep up with these trends and meet our data-hungry needs, the development of mobile infrastructures is essential.
What is 5G?
Put simply, 5G is the name for the next generation in mobile connectivity. It has come as a result of the growth in streaming services as well as our insatiable appetite for downloading and using applications.
5G works by pooling bandwidth to boost both range and speed, resulting in its ability to handle more data, connect more devices and guarantee new levels of reliability. In order to meet our expectations for high speed data connections, 5G will step up when 4G can no longer cope. It will also support the ever larger data requirements of the existing network and new applications to make augmented reality, connected vehicles and the Internet of Things more of a reality.
What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?
The development of 4G came about as a result of the rise of smart phones. Suddenly, our phones could connect to the internet and a new standard of connectivity needed to be developed to support this. 4G was a massive feat for mobile connectivity that resulted in huge gains for businesses as employees who worked on the move had access to core business services, like email, wherever they were.
As we enter an era where more and more people are connecting their devices to the internet, it’s crucial to develop a mobile standard that can continue to support this. 5G is expected to be faster, more reliable and able to support countless connected devices. Low latency will be a key differentiator between 4G and 5G, meaning you’ll be able to download and upload files quickly and easily without having to worry about the network or phone crashing.
5G will also offer greater network stability, providing the speeds necessary to give employees a fully equipped virtual office wherever they are whilst ensuring that business critical mobile functions don’t go offline. Delivering speeds of 10 – 50 Gb/s, real-world 5G is expected to dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network.
When will it be implemented?
Although 4G will still be the dominant form of mobile connectivity for the next few years, it is hoped that the UK will be a leader in 5G. The telecoms regulator has set a timeline for the launch of 5G services in the UK by 2020, with early trials set to take place this year.
You will, however, need a 5G enabled phone equipped with the hardware to be able to support it as older phone’s cannot be upgraded to support a new mobile standard. Although it’s still early days for 5G, Ofcom believes consumers will be able to buy a 5G enabled phone by 2020.
It is becoming clearer that we need a mobile standard that can better manage the growing number of devices and people connecting to the internet and 5G is promising some great strides ahead. Although it may seem a way off, there is no denying that this is a real prospect that is sure to develop the way we live our lives. At Glamorgan Telecom, we pride ourselves on embracing new technologies and can’t wait to see what the launch of 5G will enable.