It feels slightly odd writing this blog. Increasingly we’re talking about 5G mobile connection, but I remember being at university and writing about 4G. Thankfully for you this isn’t 13,000 words, 70+ pages and three pages of references.
What is 5G?
So, first of all, what is 5G? In short, 5G is a standard of mobile broadband that increases capacity and speed. To begin with, it will require a change in how mobile masts are deployed. 4G uses large power-hungry masts that can reach large distances, whereas 5G will be laid out more simply with a larger number of small “cells”.
Why is it better than 4G?
Simply, it’s faster! It is a lot faster than 4G, theoretically it should have a throughput of between 1 GB/s up to 10 GB/s. Hopefully 5G will allow us to stream 4K quality footage to a mobile device without any lag (latency). It also adds more capacity with a higher number of cells to roam between.
When will it arrive?
According to 5g.co.uk the roll out begins in 2020 and could last until 2022. However, compatible smartphones will probably start to come out in 2019. Unfortunately, we can't predict exactly when it will arrive in Sheffield - but at least free wifi is soon to be available across the city centre.
What does it mean for the future of domestic broadband connections?
It could be the start of a slow decline for fixed broadband connections. We already aren’t as reliant on landline phones, and it’s hard to see why in 10 years you’d need a fixed connection at home. However, BT and the government are continuing to invest in Fibre with 15 million homes set to get FTTP by 2025 and a complete roll out by 2040. By which time we may be talking about 6G or 7G...