Published - 04 November 2019, UK
What are the benefits of the new 5G network and what does the roll-out mean to me?
By Sonia Older
Fed up with your content buffering whilst you’re on the train? Used to avoiding ‘no-go’ areas that always drop your calls? Then you should be interested in the 5G roll out.
5G, or the ‘5th Generation’ of mobile data, promises better connectivity, significantly faster download speeds and greater capacity - and its being rolled out across the UK right now!
What are the benefits of 5G?
Reliance on internet-enabled devices means consumers are now far more demanding when it comes to connectivity, latency and download speeds, whether on the move or using smart devices at home. Businesses too need to be able to move ever larger amounts of data at quicker and quicker speeds and expect seamless connection between networks, meaning this new cellular technology should absolutely be part of a company’s digital transformation.
Eager phone and internet users in the UK are expected to use over 13 times more mobile data by 2025 than we are today and 5G technology is intended to deal with these increased data demands.
But just how much quicker will 5G be?
In short… almost 100 times faster than current network provision. Your current 4G connection offers a speed of around 20Mbps to 50Mbps (megabits per second) compared to 5G, which can get up to 400Mbps.
For example, to download a full-length HD movie using 4G would take over 7 minutes but using the quicker 5G network it could take as little as 7 seconds!
Now that’s speedy.
What does 5G mean for me or my business?
This new mobile network makes any device or technology that uses data or the internet quicker and more resilient. This is great for linking up your ‘smart home’ devices or using your mobile or tablet on the move and will be key for commuters keeping in touch with the office.
And more and more organisations are using tools and technologies that require data, including telephones, workstations, CCTV, cars, machines and robots. 5G can harness and communicate this information, unlike the traditional fixed line network, boosting productivity and operational support.
Sounds great, sign me up! But wait…
The fifth generation mobile network hasn’t been rolled out completely across the UK yet and it is not available to everyone. Personal consumers will need to upgrade phone plans to a new tariff, which could incur an increased cost depending on provider. And not all phones and devices support 5G internet yet; check your equipment is 5G ready, older phones especially will not support the new speeds.
What do we think about 5G?
Keane Beaken, Director of Mobile at Focus Group, says: ‘For a society wanting connectivity on the move, with handheld devices and IoT usage exploding, 5G offers a good choice for carrying data quicker. Whilst the new network will undoubtedly drive the consumer market, I think the real benefit will be for business customers looking to make their workplaces smarter by connecting the data of tools and technology. For organisations the fifth generation is a resilient way of linking up more ‘things’ and creating a useful, managed system that can be monitored. 5G will be a major part of our proposition as we roll out new and innovative solutions across our enterprise business space.’