A brief history of mobile reception:
To understand how transformative the concept of 5G is, we need to understand the mobile tech that came before it. Each G (or generation) so far has introduced an increasingly advanced set of technologies combined to unlock new potential from your phone – not to mention an entirely new set of products to go with it. To put this in perspective, what is now considered akin to the ‘Common Era’ of smartphones would have been unfathomable without 4G speeds.
What 5G means for you
When 4G first launched, nobody really predicted just how much it would change our lives. News, music, movies, VOiP calls, maps… the list is endless. And just like back then, it’s hard to tell how much 5G will change how we view mobile devices.
Again, 5G is fast. Really fast. 10GB/s download fast. That could mean loading an entire 4K film in under a minute, or live-streaming a virtual reality experience on the go. Users will also see an improvement in battery life due to faster transfer speeds and more efficient connectivity with IoT devices.
Understanding the potential for 5G is easier when we consider the technology that comes with it. Reducing latency (or the time it takes for your internet to recognise a command) from the current 60 milliseconds to 1 millisecond might not sound particularly interesting, but that’s because we haven’t needed it yet. What if we threw a driverless car in the mix? What if two cars could recognise an impending crash and activate the breaks 60x faster than before, then notify 50 other cars in the time it once took to notify one?
Increased connectivity and lower latency mean a new world for the Internet of Things too. While our current-gen of IoT systems has streamlined our houses and workspaces, the next gen will offer a more personalised experience whereby information from your phone will dictate how your surroundings respond to you. Think car sensors that interact with traffic lights, clothes that interact with your office environment, and drones that can drop a package to your location wherever you are – some 50 billion predicted devices interacting more personally than ever before.
OK, sounds great. When will I get it?
5G isn’t just a matter of speed– there’s a host of other decisions to make: How many devices can it support? How much battery does it consume? Is it stable? Does it offer great coverage? How much lag does it produce?
Researching and controlling these variables takes time, as will the infrastructure rollout and international agreements required to standardise the technology globally. And though 10GB/s download speed is a tantalising idea, there are many barriers between a controlled lab environment and wider Australia. That’s why 2020 is our goal: to make this experience as seamless as possible.
The value of 5G to public infrastructure – including health, education, and industry are limited only by our ability to keep up. But this is why we do what we do. It’s what makes the future exciting, and makes us work harder to achieve our goals.
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