Why does 5G matter? 4G is already generally faster than most regular broadband connections.
To bring 5G to all is a huge undertaking, so is it worth it? Well, it’s not just about how fast you can download films and TV or upload speeds. In fact, that would be a huge understatement of the potential 5G has, especially for businesses and enterprise.
There are many 5G tests going on around the world. Not just in cities, but in rural areas too. The Governments Urban Connected Communities project aims to carry out a large-scale trial of 5G technologies leading to the UK’s first 5G city.
The trial will involve various initiatives, such as real-time traffic monitoring and management to get rid of traffic jams, augmented and virtual reality integrated into tourist attractions, real-time video consultations and remote treatment offered by doctors, and more.
But the project will particularly focus on busy areas, where high-speed mobile networks are most needed, but where network congestion can make them anything but fast.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is already seeking expressions of interest. They are looking for cities with a population below 500,000 and they must demonstrate a strong and clear digital vision and leadership.
The Press and Journal say they would expect lots of cities to apply to become the first 5G city in the UK. Aberdeen is said to have plans to do just that, pointing out that it has already become the first gigabit city in Scotland, demonstrating its focus on improved digital infrastructure. And with a population around the half million mark, that could make it a strong candidate. The winning city will be selected in summer 2018.
Millions of pounds will be needed for the trial, set to be pulled from the £200 million assigned so far to develop 5G technologies.
The government also plans to follow this up with a large-scale Rural Connected Communities Project this summer.
Ofcom’s 5G spectrum auction is now underway and suggests things are beginning to work towards launching a full commercial 5G, maybe as soon as next year.
There are a lot of ways 5G can be implemented, but at its core the technology is designed to offer high bandwidth and low-latency communication. That essentially means faster connections and minimal lag; in the near future we’ll have phones, tablets, and laptops that can connect to 5G networks for uber-fast connections. Connections that are much faster than what’s currently on offer with standard 4G. The first deployments of 5G are likely to be in the realm of replacing fibre-to-the-premises connections, so your home or office internet won’t be reliant on ISPs having the right number of cables and wiring up your house.
Your connection will obviously still rely on the infrastructure being in place, some 5G wavelengths can have difficulty getting through walls so tech companies have already begun working on devices that can be attached to the outside of houses and buildings and beamed inside. everything depends on the infrastructure and how it’s implemented — which is why there are so many 5G tests going on across the world.