Everything you need to know about 5G
Even though 5G roll-out is still years away, lately it seems to be dominating the technology news (see Incremental 5G progress announcements reach new levels of mania), leaving our customers questioning; what does 5G mean for me and my business?
Here we take a look at everything you need to know about this next generation technology standard so far.
What is 5G?
5G, in short, stands for fifth generation and refers to the next generation of mobile wireless. However, as there’s currently no standard service level available and 5G is not commercially deliverable. It is simply a future technology we can build around. All we can say for sure, is to be classed as 5G the connection should deliver higher speeds, a greater capacity and lower latency than 4G.
So just how fast are we talking?
There’s a reason it’s being referred to as ‘fibre without fibre’. Initial testing for 5G has been very promising. The likes of Samsung have already reported speeds of up to 7.5Gbps, Nokia 10Gbps and an astonishing 1Tbps from the University of Surrey. It’s worth bearing in mind however, these tests took place under lab conditions – think along the lines of a cars advertised MPG, luring you in with the promise of driving from London to the Shetland Islands on a single tank of petrol – once you take into consideration the likes of excess traffic and poor environmental conditionals you’ve made it to the Watford Gap before having to shell out your hard earned cash on extra fuel.
Realistically, by the time the standard has been defined and technology has been fully developed, we can expect speeds of up to 10Gbps. This is still incredibly impressive when you consider that 4G offers average speeds of 15Mbps in the UK.
What does 10Gbps get you?
Think being able to download the latest episode of Game of Thrones in a just few seconds, accessing remote data as fast as you could locally and seamless video conferencing without the need for a Wi-Fi connection.
When will I get 5G?
With the Internet of Things continuing to boom, more and more people investing in wearable technology and the imminent introduction of driverless cars, the demand for faster, more reliable connections is more prevalent than ever.
Mobile networks are under increasing pressure to deliver a seamless service that supports the latest technologies. It’s well known they’re already struggling when it comes to both speed and capacity – something that needs to be addressed before they can seriously consider rolling out an even more data-hungry service.
Fortunately, with the support of small cell technology, Wi-Fi integration and the introduction of OFDM – a type of encoding allowing networks to utilise new frequencies and cope with a lot more data traffic, it means 5G is not that far away.
SK Telecom in Korea is being hailed as most likely to win the 5G launch race, with a somewhat optimistic goal of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The UK, on the other hand, has a more modest goal of 2020, which is likely to see an initial small-scale roll-out in London. For the rest of us non-city dwelling folk, it’s unlikely we will benefit from super-fast speeds until a few years later.
Do I need to take any further action?
The introduction of 5G is likely to coincide with a surge in connected devices and smart building technology. IT managers need to start looking at their long-term strategies to ensure that their own internal networks are robust enough to cope with this additional demand.
If you would like to find out how Arden Group can help to manage your mobile strategy then contact us today.