5G – a quick recap…

14 December, 2018

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5G represents the next (fifth) generation of mobile internet connectivity. 

As set out in the UK government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review published earlier this year, the government wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G to enable the UK to have high quality mobile connectivity where people, live, work and travel. 

When 5G will be rolled out in the UK is still uncertain but the government did announce in September that the West Midlands had been selected to become the innovative home to the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed.

We take a brief look at what 5G is and some of the benefits it will bring.

How does it work?

In short 5G is all about using higher frequency bands.  Using higher frequency bands creates a much wider spectrum which can be used, thereby unlocking much greater capacity. 

Accessing such high frequency bands requires a new and improved infrastructure to be put in place as the shorter wavelengths of the higher bands means their range is lower and so more easily blocked by physical objects. 

The requirement for a new and improved infrastructure will require significant investment by mobile network operators and other key players.  Understandably network operators will not commit to making that investment without a clear idea of how it will be able to recoup those costs in the future.  Market models are still up for debate and so it will be interesting to see how things develop in due course in this regard.

Establishing and creating a 5G network is only one piece of the puzzle and ensuring the devices which we use in relation to it are fit for purpose to ensure the full potential of 5G can be harnessed and enjoyed is another major issue.  Most of today’s devices such as mobile phones and tablets will need to evolve and be upgraded to cope.

What are the benefits?

This can be summed up in three words – capacity, speed and reliability.  These are all key elements in order to create a better quality mobile network and to ensure our ever increasing appetite for data consumption can be met.

5G is expected to bring us broad-band equivalent download speeds over mobile networks.  Waiting for things to load on your phone or tablet device will likely be a thing of the past.

5G will (in theory) enable us to do a whole lot more with regard to our mobile phones, computers and tablet devices, and opens the door to the possibility of new technology, particularly those with industrial application such as robotics and logistics. 

For more information on 5G, please contact Phil Bilney at phil.bilney@cripps.co.uk or on +44 (0)1732 224 046

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