With more and more talk about 5G networks and ever-increasing investments in 5G technology, it’s easy to see that 5G will become a reality soon. Although we don’t have a fixed date for universal roll-out, many people are looking forward to increased internet speeds.
5G is predicted to allow people to download 4K movies in certain areas, with speeds of about 1gbps. Current 4G networks offer about 20mbps, so having speeds that are 100 times faster is exciting for both customers and businesses.
But what else will 5G bring?
Hi-Res audio everywhere
While many people are focusing on the video aspect of 5G communications, a lot is likely to change in the audio world too. Current music files can only be streamed in lower quality due to internet speeds, and Hi-Res Audio files (HRA) are very rare due to their long buffering times. With 5G, it is likely that HRA files can be streamed without any delay, allowing a significantly improved music listening experience.
A wider internet of things
The internet of things (or IoT) is growing. A multitude of devices are being connected to home networks, allowing you to control aspects such as heating and lighting from your phone. But with full 5G communications and significantly increased bandwidth, it’s likely that the internet of things will grow. It’s not hard to imagine that soon you will be able to control your oven, TV and even run a bath from your phone on the go, all facilitated by 5G.
Ultra-fast home broadband
As well as being fundamental for smartphones and other mobile devices, 5G will allow for your home internet speeds to increase dramatically. This means 4K streaming on your TV and high-quality gaming on your PC or console will become the norm, and there will be very few limits on how much you can stream at once.
5G is likely to have many impacts on our daily life, some of which won’t have even been considered yet, and we are keen to keep our fingers on the pulse.
UK 5G will be faster than WiFi
According to research by OpenSignal, in the UK, 5G network speeds will be almost 4 times faster than the average speed of WiFi. OpenSignal’s research found that the average download speed for 5G devices in the UK is 138.1Mbps while the average download speed for 4G devices is 24.9Mbps and the average download speed for WiFi is 34.1Mbps.
Global 5G coverage and speed
In Saudi Arabia, the average 5G download speed is 291.2Mbps compared to the WiFi download speed of 21.4Mbps and in South Korea, the average 5G download speed is 224Mbps while WiFi download speeds sit at 74.5Mbps. Due to the low-level spectrum of US 5G networks, their 5G speed is 52.3Mbps whereas their WiFi speed is recoded at 59.8Mbps.
The UK’s 5G service is faster with greater capacity than the US due to the mid-range spectrum that will power it over a smaller area. In the UK, 5G availability is only available to 5.2% of the population, while in Kuwait, 5G connectivity is available to 34.9% of the population. US coverage is at 12.7%.
In developed countries, the distribution of 5G is eliminating the advantage that fixed-line networks had in terms of speed, however, countries with minimal physical infrastructure (such as Saudi Arabia and Australia) are experiencing faster speeds due to limited obstruction.
5G is unlikely to replace WiFi in the next few years
Due to full-fibre infrastructure investments offering improvements to WiFi connectivity. Experts suggest that 5G and WiFi will function as complementary technologies to promote network convergence.
One of Opensignal’s analysts, Ian Fogg, stated:
“All of these 5G availability results underline that we are still in the initial phase of 5G deployments. For 5G to become the mainstay of the mobile experience, operators, regulators, consumers and governments should look to widen 5G rollouts and accelerate 5G adoption so more people can benefit from the greatly superior 5G mobile experience.”