5G is fast and responsive, but what is it’s future impact? 

In this article we introduce the fifth generation network, how this new tech can be used for consumer and industry applications, along with the availability of 5G within everyday life.


What is 5G?

Over 3 months ago, we watched in anticipation as news report of the first 5G system was streamed in the very heart of London. Although previously there has been so much hype around the world is it really going to benefit us? If so how, and do we know enough about this technology. 

5G is the most current generation of cellular technology, born to significantly expand the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. 5G is ultimately a software defined network which will lessen the need for a fibre optic cable as it is operated mainly using the cloud. 


How fast is 5G?

5G has 100 times the amount of capacity than 4G seriously increasing our internet speed. If you wanted to download a 2-hour film, our old friend 3G will take a whopping 26 hours! If you are looking at the timing of 4G it would take roughly 6 minutes. Whereas the 5G network would only take 3.6 seconds faster than a blink of the eye. 

Additionally, response times will become faster 4G responds to its audience demands in 0.45 milliseconds when using 5G it will take 0.01 millisecond! Therefore, smart phone users will be able to gain a more streamlined experience. 

“In addition to the striking speed, which enables data transmission between two end systems almost instantly, 5G’s ability to connect thousands of such devices at once with lower latency, higher reliability and less battery consumption lays a strong foundation for the effective adoption of emerging technologies.” Archi Dasgupta, Director of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData

Just from this data alone you can see why there is so much hype around the 5G network. But there is more, as it will not be just the smartphone users reaping the benefits of this newfound emerging technology. 

This reduction in the lag time becomes more critical when looking at autonomous vehicles as they process real time data the faster, better and ultimately safer, they can perform.  

From this example you can start to piece together how 5G will then be better connected to IOT an industry which is rapidly expanding. The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers which allows the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

5G will also help us by giving us a more personalised web experience by using what is called ‘Web Slicing’ this allows us to create our very own bespoke network. With faster response times and faster data being brought to the users it will allow for gamers to have more power of those who are just web surfing or using the network to flick through social media. 

Another great advantage will be for businesses giving them the capacity to personalise the internet in one area especially when users are using data heavy applications. In turn this means that event organisers can pay for a slice of network boosting is internet capacity and therefore giving users a better online experience. 


When can we expect to use 5G 

‘’AT&T is expecting to have a nationwide 5G reach by 2020.’’
AT&T – American multinational Telecommunications holding company

Yet we are still led to believe that the network will still for a while be behind those on both 3G & 4G if you are looking at global connections. Moreover, the 5G network needs a much greater bandwidth which will demand a brand new infostructure. If you are wondering why, this is because 3G and 4G were both an easy setup this is due to their existing frequencies on the UK radio spectrum. 

Additionally, it boils down to cost as we need to look at running and building costs which will impact service operators even forcing them to share ownership and management of the mobile network. 

On a more positive note this year we have seen companies like Huawei successfully launch their first trials of 5G which has put them at the forefront of equipment production for this emerging technology. 

Overall 5G in key cities and industrial areas will be delivered promptly but for those of us who live in rural areas it will still be a long wait until delivery. When 5G is in full swing and able to harness its full potential, it will change the way we receive internet at work and at home. Better connected but without the wires. 


Contact Hayley McCarthy on LinkedIn for more information on 5G and Emerging Technology.