Long gone are the days of painstakingly slow dial-up internet connections. They are now but a distant memory in the past, much like VHS players and the Walkman. The internet has come an amazingly long way in a relatively short space of time, and now it is about to evolve further with the introduction of 5G. This will bring about even faster internet speeds and the ability to transfer more data over short distances. In preparation for the roll-out, companies, carriers, and device manufacturers are all working together to make sure there is a seamless transition.
In the early days of the internet, everything happened at snail pace. In 1993, it took ten minutes at full speed to download a 3.5MB song and 28 hours to download a 700MB movie. In the modern age, where people have become used to having things at their fingertips instantly, this simply wouldn’t satisfy. Not only has there been a vast improvement in the speed of household internet connections, but wireless internet has also come an extremely long way in the last ten years.
The rise of smartphones has meant that fast wireless speeds are essential, as people are constantly using the internet from their handheld devices wherever they are. The initial models were all on the 3G network, but it soon became apparent that something much faster was required. 4G was introduced in 2008 and boasted much faster download speeds. The LTE Advanced version released in 2013 was able to download 1000Mbit per second at its peak.
Now, 5G is coming to blow 4G out of the water. It will have a 500 times higher capacity than its predecessor and will be able to download films almost instantly. A movie that would have taken 26 hours to download on 3G will take 3.5 seconds on 5G. This serious enhancement will most certainly boast all industries that rely on wireless internet, which is why companies are now pulling together in preparation for the switch.
5G will be ready to roll out in March 2019, but it won’t be an immediate transition to the new generation. The upgrade comes with one caveat – for 5G to be possible and to enable the lightning speed transfers of data, mmWave antennas need to be installed. This will be a gradual process and will take several years. For this reason, all platforms will need to continue supporting the older forms of wireless internet while also integrating 5G. Networking and hardware vendors are still trial-testing their technologies, and they will need to collaborate with smartphone manufacturers so that their technology can be incorporated into newer models.
5G is set to totally change the way we use wireless internet, and the possibilities for it are exciting. There now feels like there is no limit to how far it can progress, and businesses who want to thrive should make sure they keep a close eye on developments.