BY TOM BOWMAN
So 5G is now right around the corner, cellular standards are agreed internationally, roll out plans are being announced; is it worth business paying attention?
The short answer is yes, as long as it is well implemented, and that means it will be a fair while before it is ubiquitous but some UK urban areas will be up and running next year. Here is a quick primer on the key points:
5G is a very desirable step change in speed. 3G is 384 kbps, 4G is 100mbps, 5G is a massive 10gbps
This is a 100x improvement to most download times bringing a realistic prospect of PayTV on your mobile device for the first time
Super fast response times mean no latency, great news for remote robot surgery and self driving cars and doubtless many other systems
New places on the radio spectrum are lined up. It is short wave and a concentrated beam. This means it is more 'fragile' as a signal and not good at going through buildings
There will be lots of mini masts to cope with the nature of the signal so urban roll out comes first.
You will need a new smartphone to use 5G
Increased video usage is a big story but the enablement of machine to machine communication is also huge making smart city initiatives real
Autonomous cars will be able to share data helping with congestion
VR will be remote and wireless for the first time
Delegates at the recent Video Rise conference in Lisbon ran workshops on the impact on 5G. Many of the ideas that came forward were around next generation consumer games, cleverer, faster and much more readily mass participation, with on the move gamers joining in on their commutes.