It doesn’t feel like that long ago that 4G was rolled out in the UK and that’s because, it wasn’t!
City testing for 4G began at the end of 2012 before widespread 4G coverage was released around mid-2013.
Now, 5 years down the line, we are already talking about the introduction of 5G networks across the globe.
So what exactly is 5G…?
5G stands for ‘5th Generation’ and is the latest advancement in wireless phone technology, allowing for MUCH greater speeds!
All other networks, like 4G, use radiowaves to transfer information, whereas 5G utilises other areas of the Electromagnetic Spectrum to increase speeds. This is all thanks to new developments in receiver and transmitter technology.
It seems almost every new product can connect to the internet and items such as homes, cars and almost all wearables becoming ‘smart’.
The new 5G network will allow for more and more devices to connect to the internet, with greater amounts of data being able to travel and Gigabit speeds!
It’s fair to say that when it came to the rollout of 3G and 4G, the UK seemed to lag behind a lot of the world, with many areas of the UK still unable to access 3G.
But, the UK government has promised that this won’t happen when it comes to the rollout of 5G and they seem to be making some good steps towards it.
At the beginning of March this year, the government donated £25 million to 5G projects to boost efforts in speeding up the 5G process.
However, the biggest news regarding 5G came recently, with the auction of the 4G and 5G spectrums.
Now be prepared, because the numbers coming up may be confusing, but we’ll explain them the best that we can…
Only 40Mhz of the 4G were up for auction. To put that into context, EE currently holds 255Mhz of that spectrum, so not much was up for sale. In fact, O2 acquired all the spectrum that was up for auction and it cost them just over £200 million.
O2 bought the same amount (40Mhz) in the 5G spectrum. Due to the 5G spectrums ability to hold more data than others, the amount acquired by providers will increase the spectrum amount ready for mobile use compared to when 4G was released.
This sale for O2 was worth around £317 million showing just how invested in the new spectrum mobile providers are!
Vodafone were the company to gain the most of the 5G spectrum, buying 50Mhz.
In total, the sale numbers were worth around £1.3 billion which is double what was predicted at the start of the auction.
It’s all well and good us shouting numbers at you, but what exactly will we gain from this?
According to O2’s CEO Mark Evans:
• Households will save £450 a year on energy/food bills and council tax
• Councils will save up to £2.8 billion a year with the introduction of smart lighting and other infrastructures.
• There will be savings in staff time, saving the government up to £1.3 billion.
• Smart roads will be introduced, reducing you time stuck in traffic by an average of 10%.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the future, but when exactly will we see 5G be rolled out…?
Many phone manufacturers, 18 at the time of writing this, have announced they’re working with Qualcomm to produce 5G ready phones for next year!
However, 5G will most likely not be available to the masses until 2020 at the earliest.
That isn’t to far in the future though so we’re very excited. 5G can’t come quick enough!