The UK can finally enjoy 5G connectivity in selected cities.

After years of anticipation – and confusion – the UK finally has 5G coverage in selected cities.

Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, and London are the first cities that will benefit from the new technology. More cities will follow later in the year.

So what is 5G? And what will it bring to our devices?

5G is referred to as the fifth generation of mobile network connectivity. The next-gen network promises even faster broadband speeds than its predecessor, 4G.

It means less waiting times for downloading content on the go, as well as smoother Wi-Fi experiences in restaurants, bars, and other out-of-the-home locations.

Communications watchdog Ofcom speculates that the new technology will offer consumers speeds of up to 20 gigabits-per-second. As well as faster speed connectivity, the report also expects 5G to connect a million devices per square km.

Initially, 5G is likely to deliver an evolutionary improvement of consumers’ and businesses’ existing wireless services. 5G’s ability to deliver high capacity and very low latency has the
potential to enable the development of revolutionary new services and applications.

Ofcom

 

But making these changes possible will require the necessary infrastructure:

…antennas will be needed all over the place – from lamp-posts to bus shelters, in addition to more of the rooftop masts we’re already used to. These in turn will support hundreds of thousands of data-capturing sensors that will allow the authorities and businesses to gain deeper insights about behaviour and provide “smarter” services.

BBC

 

The objective, in the end, is to make everyday living a lot smarter. But with the UK still suffering from poor home connectivity, as well as funding needed to support 5g – both governmental and consumer – how far off are we from realising this digital utopia?