The UK’s first 5G mobile network was launched by EE at the end of May and their competitor Vodafone has announced it will switch on its 5G service on 3rd July.
At the moment the EE’s 5G service is only available in areas of Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Their customers will also need to be using a compatible handset in order to benefit so for most consumers that means investing in an upgrade.
All the major networks have confirmed their plans to launch 5G in the UK during 2019. Exactly where and when varies from provider to provider and some are clearly well ahead of others in the race to offer their customers 5G connectivity.
The launch was something which was widely anticipated by the technology industries, ever since 4G became widespread the industry has been working towards 5G.
Downloading on 5G is significantly faster and streaming video on mobile will improve dramatically. There is also much lower latency so any delay or lag will be so tiny it will be unnoticeable to the human user. It will be possible to download films in seconds rather than minutes and higher resolution will be possible on the move. This will be welcomed by gamers and film lovers alike.
There will be clear benefits for businesses too. Connectivity will be more reliable and improved speeds will make remote working even more practical than it is at present.
One other benefit which has been widely discussed is improvements to traffic management through smart and automated transport solutions. 5G might make driverless cars a more realistic prospect.
As 5G is embraced we will undoubtedly see new opportunities arise from it. The recent UK launch of 5G is exciting but the extent of the benefits will only become clear once 5G is widely available. That means better geographical coverage and more people with access to 5G enabled devices.