With mobile devices raising the technological bar as folding phones enter production, there remain questions as to what part 5G will play in this, or how it could change our lives. After all, keeping track of developments in tech is practically a fulltime job, and many of the more complicated components can easily go flying over our heads. We want to cut it down to the important parts, so our readers can learn everything they need to know.
So what is 5G, what can it do, and when is it coming to Consett?
What is 5G Technology?
The term 5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile connectivity technology. In general terms, each new generation has brought with it one or two considerable leaps, making mobiles faster and more flexible. 5G brings with it changes to how data is managed, with the addition of a type of signal which can be much faster, with more room for many more simultaneous connections.
In terms of speed, this is measured by bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth refers to how much data can pass through a connection at any one time. In other words, more bandwidth equals faster loading times on websites, and higher quality video streaming with less buffering.
Latency refers to the time it takes a signal to make a round trip. In this case, the lower latency of 5G means websites and games will be faster to respond.
The downsides of this technology are primarily that it requires new devices with 5G connectivity to work, and that the infrastructure is costly and limited. One 5G tower covers only a small portion of what 4G towers can, thus necessitating a great many to be installed for the same coverage.
Will it Matter?
This depends entirely on what a person does with their mobile data, though, for most regular uses, the answer is usually no. Let’s use websites, video, and gaming for popular examples.
Websites, as they already exist, are (mostly) small and efficient enough to work through 4G connections, so no issues here, at least not yet.
Video streaming is a little more complex, as this depends on the quality at which a person streams. That said, 4G works fine for most mobile viewing, as higher resolutions such as 4K, which would require 5G, are very rarely used on mobile devices.
Gaming is also very use-dependent. For common gaming today, such as online casino gaming, 4G already works perfectly. These casinos come with many different avenues such as a wide selection of slots and other games, and many website features like bonuses pages. 5G for such systems is unnecessary.
However, data-heavy games like Fortnite or PUBG mobile might be unplayable with the higher latency of 4G, in which case 5G could make an enormous difference.
What about Consett?
Current websites which track 5G coverage in the UK note that there is, at the point of writing, no 5G connections available in Consett. As 5G is new and so far only really available in larger cities with enormous populations, this is unsurprising. From 2020 onwards, however, we would expect 5G coverage to expand significantly. While there have been no dates or specific locations announced, 5G in Consett is a matter of when, and not of if.
The only real question is how much of Consett will receive coverage. The centre of town will almost definitely be the first to see 5G integration, but it is unknown how much further these signals will reach. Eventual coverage will, ultimately, depend on the lowering costs of 5G towers and their related technologies.
If we notice any big changes coming, you can bet we’ll keep our readers informed. In the meantime, maybe hold off on running out to buy a new 5G compatible mobile.