Most of us are well acquainted with 4G by now. The wide use of this technology has been rapidly increasing from 2012 to present with a colossal jump from 1.2 million subscribers in 2010 to approximately 1.4 billion subscribers in 2018. 5G is the fifth generation of wireless networking standard we all use to stay connected to the internet on our mobile devices, with the aim of 5G increasing the speed of data communication by approximately 3 times that of its predecessor, 4G.
Culture secretary Jeremy Wright has announced his £30bn plan to ensure that the entire UK has access to 5G and full-fibre broadband by the year 2033, even in rural areas. If true, this will be a phenomenal accomplishment considering only 4% homes in the UK currently have access to full-fibre and many homes in rural areas still suffer with poor cell connectivity. The shift towards 5G is expected to begin gaining traction in 2019 onwards. Large phone manufacturers are working closely with Qualcomm, a chip manufacturer, to bring 5G-ready devices in 2019.
Although 5G is a drastic jump for us in terms of speed, it can also offer huge benefits for IoT devices. Self-driving cars, drones and VR will all benefit significantly from the implementation and will improve responsiveness of services that rely on real-time updates.
VR, for example, will be able to offer capabilities such as live-streaming virtual simulations at a much higher rate that currently possible. Self-driving cars, on the other hand, will have significantly improved coverage that will allow these kinds of vehicles to talk to each other and enhance communication with various points of interest. To summarise, 5G is expected to be an enormous shift in technology and the speed of communications, there is a lot in store for the next decade!