Mainstream news and even several data providers have been heavily touting the future of 5G across the UK and the world.
They discuss the potential of its near-sci-fi capabilities and how it will, eventually, transform the world. The influence that this has had on local areas is already apparent, with 5G infrastructure being put in place.
After much deliberation, on 11 May, the Warrington Council approved the installation of a new 5G mast to conclude a landmark virtual development management committee meeting that was broadcast online. The decision will see a 20-metre mast with several additional equipment cabinets replace the existing smaller mast on a grassed strip of A57 Sankey Way.
Standing 16 metres away from the nearest property – with a new paint scheme planned from the existing mast’s dull grey colouration – the structure isn’t expected to be an eyesore. So, what does all of this movement into 5G mean for the near future of Warrington and the UK as a whole?
The emergence of 5G
When 3G stepped up to 4G, there wasn’t a huge amount of hype whipped up about the upgrade. Sure, phone companies made a big deal out of their 4G services, but the upgrade wasn’t exactly life-changing. With 5G, it’s a very different story. 5G networks offer download speeds ten times faster than 4G and with much greater reliability, enabling you to download an UltraHD movie in around 20 seconds.
That’s just one of the more down-to-earth examples, with the potential of the combination of speed and lack of latency meaning the technologies can rely on the networks for much more expansive uses. Experts say that 5G will have a larger impact than the introduction of electricity. However, while somewhat rudimentary when considering the wider application of 5G, it is in the hands of the public and primarily in entertainment where people will begin to adopt and utilise the super-fast tech.
How will 5G begin to have its uses?
One of the most rapidly adopted methods of consuming entertainment content is through streaming. Even though many people can stream in high-quality, almost everyone will have experienced connection losses, lack of buffering speed, and a lack of access overall in the last year or so. With 5G, however, instantly-ready streams of HD and even 4K films and series is going to become a reality.
Another space of entertainment where low latency will be key is in iGaming. People all over the world turn to the internet to play modernised classic games, with the online casinos offering free spins on leading platforms. These games already run very well on the current internet, but with 5G, the loading time will be minimal, and there won’t be any chance of lag. Furthermore, developers will be able to build bigger and better gaming experiences that will defy what we thought was possible.
As well as web-based gaming, other forms of online multiplayer games will also become significantly better. While lag and slow connections have hindered may gamers on PC or consoles, perhaps the largest space for expansion under 5G is on mobile. With the 5G internet allowing for hefty streaming, heavy computational work can be handled by data centres and then beamed to devices like mobiles. 5G may even allow Google Stadia to become a viable gaming platform.
Phone companies – both data providers and device manufacturers – are already showcasing their abilities to deliver 5G. The mast going up in Warrington gives the area a sound, relatively early footing in the age of 5G to come.