With 2020 touted as a big year in the rollout of 5G, what will it mean for you?

The world is becoming more connected than ever before. From your smartphone to your consoles right through to security cameras and even an irrigation system, the demand for connected devices is increasing by the year. And right behind that comes the demand for faster mobile technology. The G in 4 or 5G stands for Generation, with 1G having kicked off in earnest way back in the early ‘80s (although it launched in 1979), enabling analogue voice calls to be made on mobile devices for the first time.

2G brought with it digital networks while 3G, which rolled out with the implementation of smartphones, allowed users to browse the web, send emails and download videos. Five times faster than 3G, 4G ushered in a generation of entertainment streaming, video calls and accurate GPS so that even your grandparents couldn’t get lost.

“It will enable users to download a 4K movie in less than a minute.”

But it’s 5G that the major carriers are talking about this year, and the promise of blistering speeds and low latency (in short, the time it takes information from your smartphone to reach the Internet and then return to the smartphone) that has everyone excited. While 5G’s full potential will take a little time to roll out in full, once the network is developed it will purportedly be 600 times faster than 4G, and 100 times faster than the NBN. It will enable users to download a 4K movie in less than a minute, allow the transfer of much larger files, and handle many more connected devices. The rollout started in 2019 and will gain momentum this year with the big carriers already offering plans on small networks and selling 5G devices. However, much like the 4G network, it won’t be built overnight and mass penetration will take time.

So, quick download and upload speeds, improved latency and with our cities becoming increasingly more reliant on the Internet of Things (IoT), the ability to connect many more devices to the Internet will be essential, and these are the biggest improvements that 5G is set to bring with it.

What does that mean to you, the entertainment lover? Well, much higher video and music streaming quality for starters. Smartglasses that use augmented reality and mobile virtual reality will be greatly assisted by low latency, and gaming streaming services will capitalise on the speeds; the opportunities for mobile gaming are almost too exciting to comprehend.

While we still have a long way to go, the 5G dawn has already broken.