Last month, EE launched the UK’s first 5G network by ‘lighting up’ Tower Bridge in London; collaborating with Stormzy to celebrate the launch whilst concurrently proving the reliability of the technology by broadcasting the concert on YouTube and live streaming the event to EE stores in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, where the service is also launching.
Over the next 18 months, at least 16 more UK cities will be gaining access to 5G and Vodafone, O2 and Three have all confirmed plans to launch their networks this year, but what will it mean for you?
Having a faster data connection may not seem that important if you’re streaming cat videos but the new network will open opportunities across the country for businesses to expand and take advantage of the extra bandwidth available.
To put this into perspective, the table below shows the theoretical maximum download speeds of the different wireless networks. It’s amazing how in less than 30 years, technology has improved so much that we can take advantage of data speeds one thousand times faster.
|1991 – 2G||0.3 Mbits/s|
|2003 – 3G||42 Mbits/s|
|2012 – 4G||150 Mbits/s|
|2019 – 5G||1000-10,000 Mbits/s|
Not only will the 5G network represent the biggest jump in speeds yet, but it will allow methods of communication that are almost impossible now.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will give businesses and consumers more control over their technology. We’re already starting to see the start of this with smart lighting and thermostats, where you can control the operation from a smartphone.
For businesses, especially those in hospitality, this will have a massive effect as lighting and heating can become independent and, given your demands, analyse your data and automatically change settings to remain at peak efficiency. This will give employees more time to spend with customers whilst the efficiency savings help protect the bottom line.
5G will also make it easier to provide network coverage in hard to reach areas and rural communities. Especially during festivals like Glastonbury, businesses will have much greater access to connectivity, helping them stay in touch with loyal customers and speed up transactions.