When it comes to innovation, telecoms is perhaps one of the most exciting industries to be in – as someone who’s been in the business for over a decade, its ever-changing landscape never ceases to amaze me.
I’ve observed the face of telecoms completely transform over the past 10 years, with the advent of emerging and pioneering new technologies that have the potential to benefit us all on some level.
Moreover, it connects people, be it in a personal or professional way – let’s face it, we would be lost without digital connectivity these days. With an increasingly tech-savvy populus, the internet age is well and truly here – you’d be hard pushed to go out in any public space without seeing faces fixed on screens. Specifically, the appetite for mobile data is getting nothing but stronger, with smartphones yielding the sort of power that once was the reserve of desktop computers, what we want is the ability to email, game, socialise and stream on our mobile devices in a way that is devoid of limitations. Well I come bearing good news, connectivity is about to get a whole lot better with the impending dawn of 5G technology.
So what is 5G?
5G is an echelon above the current mobile internet offerings – it’s the technological successor of 3G / 4G, which at present is what most people in the UK use to stream data on their mobile devices. 5G will be available on both mobile and fixed network infrastructure and with its roll out, people can expect to enjoy faster video streaming, overall improved user experience and reduced latency.
The Next Generation of Internet Connectivity
It is anticipated that 5G is to be rolled out in 2020, so it is still a few years away from becoming available on a widespread basis, however testing of 5G technologies are set to commence from next year. Excitement is mounting, not just within the telecoms sector but also the technology industry. Ramped up connectivity capabilities mean that new technology can utilise the internet, such as inanimate household appliances, which I predict will soon all be connected to apps and have the ability to be controlled remotely – so there will be no leaving the lights or heating on by mistake after you’ve left the house.
However, despite the telecoms-sphere largely waxing lyrical about 5G technology, it is not without its limitations, be it thick walls or rural settings. That’s not to mention the issue of hardware; for example, in order to utilise 5G, mobile handsets would require 5 G-ready capabilities. When 5G does finally become available, it will be introduced in incremental stages, rather than everything all at once, so it may some time to grow into its full potential following its launch.
5G and the Third Sector
As charity telecoms specialists, we are keen to see is how this new technological milestone could potentially benefit the charities that we work with. One of the main things that strive for at VS Group Charity Telecoms is to empower charities with new and emerging technologies and I feel that 5G will be no exception. The faster data speeds that it affords will no doubt result in more efficient corporate processes and the ability for charities staff to work better on the go or remotely. It’s also more efficient with energy usage, rendering it potentially much more cost-effective than 4G and therefore a good option for charities to consider in the future.
Personally, I am very excited for the roll out of 5G in the UK – it will no doubt change the telecoms industry as we know it.