5G is set to be the most efficient and fastest generation of cellular technology yet, but what does mean for mobile device users?
Since the 1980s, cellular technology has advanced from analogue to digital. Once upon a time, you were only able to send SMS and call other devices, now we use the 4G standard to access internet content without WI-FI such as streaming in HD, sending multimedia, using social media and all other online activities.
Benefits of 5G
Whilst we may think there isn’t much more we could do with our smartphones, the next step will be to make a new generation that works faster and more efficiently. Considering that 4G downloads can run at up to 300 Mbps, 5G is estimated to function at 1Gbps regardless of file sizes, which should overcome inhibitions such as buffering in videos, therefore, delivering a more immediate response time for users. To illustrate, a full HD film in the future could take a matter of 10 seconds to download, opposed to 10 minutes.
What’s more, latency speeds will be much more instantaneous. Whereas now we may click a link and it takes a little while to load the web page, 5G, on the other hand, will be able to deliver a 1 millisecond end-to-end response time. In terms of capacity, the bandwidth in network frequencies will expand to intelligently allocate each individual user the exact amount of capacity needed, regardless of how much mobile traffic is occurring between places, with more availability and appropriate capacity needs.
Future use of 5G
Google is already testing 5G signals with drones that can last in the sky for up to five years and connect with mobile users. Looking to the future, it is likely 5G will be able to power ‘The Internet of Things’ (IoT) which will consolidate all devices- whether domestic, like fridges and light fittings, to driverless cars- all managed remotely with the potential of 5G.
5G opens a whole new level of possibilities in the world or VR and AI. This could range from a projection of content on our mobiles or sat navs on our windscreens, to robotic surgeons.
All in all, 5G will immediately speed up the rate that data is transferred and improve user experiences. As one of the four digital hubs in the UK, research is already being undertaken in Brighton at the University of Sussex and the innovative Digital Catapult centre, testing real-time network abilities of 5G and how far it can be used.