As we usher in the 2020s, we’ve never been more digitally interconnected. And as the internet becomes a more ubiquitous part of our work and lifestyle, new technologies arise to meet the rising demand. Those whose first experience with the internet took place over dial-up remember what a quantum leap forward broadband was.
Today, the best deals on broadband are more affordable and reliable than we dared dream a few years ago. But in an age where we’re all streaming vast volumes of data and accessing the internet increasingly though mobile devices, the world is ready for broadband to evolve once more.
Much has been made about the rollout of 5G this year with the World Economic Forum promising that this new technology will change the world. But what will this new evolution offer that our existing infrastructure won’t? Here we’ll look at some of the ways in which 5G will fundamentally change how we think about broadband…
Lightning fast downloads at home and on the go
It’s likely that you regularly use the internet to stream video content at home and while you’re on the go. But the idea of downloading a movie in 1080p HD may seem prohibitive with our current 3G or 4G infrastructure. Over a 3G network, it would have taken over a day to download the latest blockbuster to your tablet or smartphone. Even over 4G it would take the better part of 10 minutes (not time we can always spare when on the go).
Over 5G a full length movie in HD can be downloaded in seconds, with theoretical maximum download speeds of 1-10Gbps and average speeds of 130-240 Mbps. Even 4K UHD will be able to stream quickly, giving us superior video and audio quality, wherever we are.
Rise of the IoT machines
For most of us, broadband internet is a permanent houseguest. Our phones, our televisions and our virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have changed the way we do virtually everything. However, with the rise of 5G to support them, Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices are likely to become an even greater presence in our homes.
Take a look at this video by TechAhead which shows some of the IoT enabled devices and trends that will become a more commonplace part of our lives in 2020.
We can look forward to wearables that allow us to stream live television while we’re running. And if we should have an accident on the way, they can transmit potentially life saving data to our healthcare providers. Not to mention refrigerators that order our groceries on our behalf when we’re running low and smart home devices that give us granular control over our devices and energy usage.
The world is your workplace
Remote working has really taken off in direct correlation to the quality, reliability and affordability of home broadband. But while we may be able to work from home effectively today, the world could become our workplace tomorrow.
In the 5G era, remote workers and freelancers alike will be able to send and receive large files, stream high volumes of data, make voice chat or video calls and do whatever else their job requires of them from virtually anywhere. The world of work will come out of the workplace and even escape the confines of the home office.
Your workplace will be wherever you want it to be, whether that’s your favourite coffee shop or even a peaceful spot in your local park.
Autonomous vehicles will have a reliable infrastructure
The rise of 5G could make car ownership irrelevant for many. If you thought that autonomous vehicles were the province of science fiction, think again. The technology to facilitate autonomous vehicles already exists with tests underway all over the world in the past year. With 5G they will have a reliable infrastructure in which to operate, making ride sharing services more affordable and comprehensive.
5G will take gaming to the next level
When it comes to games and entertainment, virtual and augmented reality have been part of the conversation since the 1990s. In recent years games like Pokemon Go have shown how bandwidth-reliant augmented reality can redefine the way we play video games. Over a 5G network we can expect to see mobile gaming taken to the next level with immersive VR and AR experiences.
Whether it’s in the way we consume our media, the way we get from A to B or the way we work, we can expect 5G to change the way we think about broadband with a wealth of exciting new developments on the horizon.