Internet speed can be fundamental to business efficiency and it's for this reason that many businesses and consumers are always pursuing the latest mobile internet technologies to give them the edge. Although 4G networks are being widely deployed across the world, the focus has now switched to 5G, with some experts terming it as the catalyst of the ‘next industrial revolution’.
In its fifth generation, 5G builds upon the foundations set by its predecessors; 4G and 3G, which saw a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the sheer number of devices requiring a mobile internet connection.
5G is not due to be rolled-out to the market place until 2020, but, when it does arrive, experts predict that it will deliver signigicant improvements to the service currently offered by 4G:
- Increased download speed
4G is predicted to be outperformed by 5G making it possible to download a full HD movie in a matter of seconds with a 10 Gigabytes per second connection speed.
- Improved load speed
Latency (buffering) should be minimised significantly as the prevalence of 5G increases. Reduced latency will provide an increase in the capacity needed to power thousands of connected Internet of Things devices, video content should play instantly and businesses will be able to carry out conference calls on the move from any location with little to no lag.
- Favourable contract offerings
The capacity increase is predicted to result in more favourable contracts for the consumer. Current 4G contracts with data allowances of less than 5GB as standard means clients are often met with financial penalties for going above their agreed contract. 5G is expected to offer upwards of 1,000 times the capacity of 4G which would therefore allow mobile networks to offer greater allowances as part of their mobile plans.
- Indirect performance benefits
Some commentators suggest that 5G will help to reduce maintenance costs. This will be due to 5G causing IoT devices to use less processing power in loading and downloading content, therefore delivering a longer battery life.
Sadly, nothing is perfect and as with all new technology there is going to be a downside. With 5G it's predicted that there will be some initial reception issues due to the fact that new mobile technologies are assigned to a higher frequency where there is less congestion. On the plus side devices are able to obtain higher speeds and make it much easier for information to be distributed more efficiently. The drawback, however, is that higher frequencies don’t travel as far. As a consequence, 5G is likely to require multiple input and output antennas (MIMOs) in order to boost the signals where 5G is rolled out to, causing possible increased drop-outs from 5G reception.
At BCR Associates we like to see the opportunity in everything. In this case, it could be that this increase in number of antennas in use could increase coverage in rural areas. It's thought that 5G may act as a catalyst for an improved mobile infrastructure, delivering increased coverage in those areas currently overlooked by 4G.
For more information or to talk to one of our telecoms experts, please call us on 03330 433 233.