For both consumers and businesses alike, mobile connectivity is fast becoming a necessity. Whether it’s to check your emails on the move, turn your heating on remotely or Instagram pictures of your dinner, the demand for faster, more reliable connections is at an all time high and is one of the key driving forces for the introduction of 5G technologies.
5G is the next generation in mobile technologies and the government is planning to use it as the backbone for the UK’s digital landscape. The new service will enable innovation across a variety of industry sectors and is set to roll out in 2020.
There are three main services/applications 5G is anticipated to be used for.
- Mobile broadband
Running mobile networks on 5G will increase speed and performance, giving a more reliable service to consumers. The growth in mobile data can be attributed to users accessing the Internet daily to stream HD videos, download applications, receive emails, play games etc. In fact, smartphone overtook laptops as the most popular device for going online last year*.
The usage of mobile data traffic per person has increased tenfold over the last five years, with the average monthly data usage per mobile SIM totalling 1.3GB – compared to a mere 0.1GB in 2011**.
But not only will 5G network promise to enhance mobile connectivity, it will also facilitate a wide range of new services such as smart cities, e-health, cloud computing, augmented and virtual reality, and driverless vehicles.
- The Internet-of-Things (IoT)
This refers to everyday gadgets and devices that wirelessly connect to the Internet and each other. Its technology is being used in everything from appliances to wearables, smart homes to smart cities. 5G will aid the evolution of IoT services and applications and improve interaction between the different platforms.
- Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications
This refers to connected and driverless cars (cars would use the technology to communicate with each other, other road users and even the road infrastructure), and smart manufacturing (potentially connecting all machines involved in the different phases of a production chain).
For further information on the 5G rollout in the UK and how it will work, please read the full Ofcom report here.
*Ofcom, 2016 (Communications Market Report)
**Ofcom, 2017 (Update of 5G Spectrum in the UK)