In our world, when it comes to our mobile phones and devices, we are constantly demanding increased speeds and connectivity. This means that mobile networks are continuing to develop new communication technologies and 5G is the next great release. 

Investment in 5G

The European Commission invested €50 million into the research of 5G connectivity technology, with the aim of having the fast speed connection launched by 2020. It is thought that 5G will transform the world of business thanks to its speed, alongside providing support for augmented reality and virtual reality. 

Testing of 5G networks

Currently, the largest players in the mobile industry are testing 5G networks, although at present the technology does not yet exist. The networks are aiming to launch new devices as soon as the technology becomes commercially viable. The telecommunications industry expects the profits from 5G technology to provide the largest opportunity over the next ten years. 

Improvements in connection technology

The 5G network will take into account three key aspects, the first being that the network will be able to provide enough connections to handle the amount of devices and users within any given area. Another major benefit is the response time, which aims to be reduced significantly from 40ms on the 4G network to just 1ms. The final consideration is the capacity of data transfer, which will need to increase to billions of bits from the current thousands of bits range used by 4G. 

Virtual reality and online gaming

We are all eagerly awaiting 5G technology and the many exciting opportunities it will bring. One of the biggest groups of people to benefit will be those who spend time playing games online and using virtual reality. As the bandwidth and latency is improved, it will allow new developers to create vastly improved gaming platforms, especially those which will use virtual reality technology. 

Cloud storage and streaming

As an increasing number of people use the cloud to store files and videos, 5G will provide an improved user experience. A 5G connection will allow people to watch videos in resolutions of 8K with a 10GBps download speed, which will mean that an hour-long HD episode can be downloaded in just a few seconds. 

Smart car manufacturers

One of the most surprising benefits from the launch of 5G is for smart car manufacturers. The latency speeds will allow cars to receive information quickly from distances very far away, which could mean that cars will benefit from automated traffic control systems that allow individual cars to communicate. This is another step in the development of driverless cars, which is currently held back due to a lack of reliable data transfer systems. 

Lower energy consumption

5G technology is more than just a quicker data transfer network - it will also reduce energy consumption. This will mean a lot less power is needed to download large files. The low energy requirement will allow small personal devices, such as smart watches, to work more efficiently and carry out more tasks than are currently possible.

The impact on phone mast operators

All of this extra speed and coverage does not come without a supporting infrastructure. It is predicted that around 400,000 new mobile phone masts will be needed around the country to cope with user demand, with many needed in remote and rural areas to ensure it is accessible. To put this into perspective – at the moment – there are around 40,000 masts across the UK. The cost of this is predicted to be huge, but with £1.1 billion pledged in support within the recent budget, it is achievable. 

5G communication technology is expected to revolutionise the mobile phone mast industry. The increased speeds and larger bandwidth will enable the development of futuristic technology. The huge increase in demand for mast locations will make suitable land highly important for operators.