2 min read

5G – or “fifth generation” – mobile internet is coming very soon – possibly early next year. It promises much faster data download speeds – 10 to 20 times faster than we have now. With an improvement in upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections, 5G is something to watch out for.

Why are people excited about 5G?

Mobile is today the main way people use the internet. That change has come at an amazing pace. With this increase in mobile users, demand for services, like music and video streaming, has skyrocketed.. This can cause particular problems when lots of people in the same area access online mobile services at the same time, leading to a congestion of existing spectrum bands, thus resulting in service breakdowns.

5G will use the radio spectrum much more efficiently, enabling more devices to access mobile internet services at the same time.

But it’s not just about mobile users. It’s also about the internet of things and smart cities. For example, as cities look to become better connected, with everything from streetlights to video cameras in some way connected to the internet, this network will support this infrastructure in a way that would have previously been impossible.

From swarms of drones carrying out search and rescue missions, yo fire assessments and traffic monitoring, 5G really could transform the way we understand and interact with our environment.  It’s not just about movies downloading faster, it’s also about autonomous vehicles communicating with each other seamlessly and reading live map and traffic data to take you to your destination in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. 5G will also go hand-in-hand with AI, propagating its progress!

5G: trick or treat?

All this being said, there will be an increase in cost to employ skilled professionals to manage 5G networks. Users will also need to buy new smartphones that support this network – even some of the most up to date phones will need to be replaced. When  4G was introduced in 2009/10, compatible smartphones came onto the market before the infrastructure had been rolled out fully. That’s a possibility with 5G, but it does look like it might take a little more time.. This technology is still under development and will take some time to be fully operational without any issues. We will leave it up to you decide if the technology is a Trick or a Treat!

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