The 5G future promises endless possibilities for individuals and businesses alike. On paper, 5G assures better connectivity, increased speed and even more use of smart products and applications. However, what is not being explained to end users is that new and improved infrastructure will be required to support the 5G future. In this blog post we explain why 5G isn’t going to be the saviour for all connectivity issues… 

How 5G works 

The new 5G network promises mobile data speeds that will outperform the current fastest land based broadband service. With the enablement of video streaming and video calling on the go, the 4G networks have become ‘congested’ and more bandwidth was required to improve matters. 5G offers higher speeds and data throughput which in theory sounds excellent! 

The benefits of 5G

With bandwidth increases of up to 1000% when compared to 4G, 5G offers an enormous opportunity to facilitate additional internet traffic space. Along with speed, comes the capability to offer high density usage, which will give technology like the autonomous car and ‘smarter’ cities the ability to exist. With its ultra-low latency, sub 1 Millisecond, near instantaneous response is achieved for time critical application development. No-one wants a near-miss in a car that drives itself!

Rural communities 

5G sounds like the answer to all our problems, so it’s interesting to think about how this will change connectivity in rural areas. Those that live in the heart of the countryside still struggle to get basic broadband, so how will 5G be a game changer for them? Connectivity issues in rural areas will still remain, unless the investment and funding needed in order to build the land based, backhaul infrastructure that will support these networks is provided. It is safe to say that the government and the ‘big four’ mobile networks will be key facilitators as to whether these areas are supported. 

Network limitations 

The implementation of 5G is going to take several years before the service has fully matured – so don’t throw away your old phone just yet. If you can squeeze another couple of years out of your current phone, then don’t worry, you won’t be left behind. Even if you stick with a 4G phone now, you could still see a speed increase on your device as mobile providers will be installing new equipment and faster connectivity for the implementation of 5G. Upgrading to ‘full’ 5G will also take some time, as speeds will not increase maximally immediately, and not all of the main providers have the full spectrum licencing for 5G deployment anyway.

Energy consumption 

Energy usage has become a hot topic as a result of current environmental issues and 5G is contributing to raising concerns. As data traffic usage is increasing exponentially, and due to the speeds of data transfer that 5G can achieve, users are consuming even more power. In a positive step towards the future of 5G, it is said that smart cellular towers will be activated, which will have a ‘sleep mode’ feature, which will lead to significant reductions in energy consumption as they will only be fully active once in use.