After all the hullabaloo, the eagerly anticipated, much hyped, and soon to be the talk-of-the-town technology is all gearing up to dominate the air. Yes, 2019 will see the launch of 5G. This next- generation wireless technology is expected to create a huge impact on wireless communication and the world of mobile apps.
Will the new 5G live up to its hype? That, only time will tell. Meanwhile, come let us see what it is and how it is expected to impact businesses and mobile app development.
5G: A Quick Round-Up
The first standardized mobile phone network was first introduced in 1982. Following that, the second generation was deployed in 1992; the competing 3G came out in 2001, while the current 4G LTE standard was deployed in 2010. And now, it’s showtime for 5G.
If one were to go by the online predictions, the advanced 5G wireless network should be rolling out in the first half of 2019.
Reports state that 5G is not just about faster smartphones, it has raised the bar high with innovations such as URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low-Latency Communications) and increased connection density. The URLLC is one of the highlights of the new 5G where 50 milliseconds (4G’s average latency) will now be reduced to just 1 millisecond. This means the new technology will be a blessing for latency sensitive areas such as factory automation, autonomous cars, remote surgery, and responsive Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality.
Connection density matters a lot when you access internet connection at a public gathering. The norm is that 4G supports around 2000 connected devices per .38 square miles, whereas the upcoming 5G would support up to 1 million connected devices for the same space range. This is a great news for IoT developers.
“The near-zero latency rate would be a blessing for latency sensitive areas such as factory automation, autonomous cars, remote surgery, and responsive Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality.”
Image source: appinventive
What it means for businesses?
Qualcomm, one of the largest semiconductor and telecommunications equipment manufacturer, appeared to be one of the early contenders aiming to leverage from the 5G game. During its December Tech Summit, the company gave a glimpse about its ambitious Snapdragon 855, a next- gen CPU with X50 5G modem, which will be the world’s first 5G mobile platform. The Snapdragon 855-equipped phones are expected to be out in early 2019.
AT&T and Verizon recently announced that they will be joining hands with Samsung to build 5G phones. As currently there are no phones that can completely take advantage of 5G speeds, these service providers are expected to offer interesting 5G packages to end-users.
OnePlus has already claimed that they would be first phone makers to release 5G phone powered by Snapdragon 855 processor.
However, Apple announced that it would wait till 2020 before joining the bandwagon. The wait, it is said, is to ‘watch the response and then take the plunge’. It’s a well-known tactic of Apple as we know, or the reason for the wait could be its difficulty to catch up with Samsung and others who are taking a lead in the smartphone market.
What it means for mobile apps (development)?
With the curtains slowly going up for the launch of 5G, mobile app developers are already curious to learn what the technology holds for them and how they can leverage it to the best of their abilities.
1. EMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband): It provides a greater bandwidth, complimented by lower latency rate, to help emerging AR/VR, 4K videos, 360 degree video streaming and many more.
2. mMTC (Massive Machine Type Communications): The mMTC is a narrowband access type designed to sense, meter and monitor use cases. It also allows low amounts of power. This means that mMTC combined with low latency rate promises to deliver superior connected device density and rich connectivity. An advantage that IoT developers would cherish.
3. Speed: Users can expect faster downloading of apps, irrespective of app sizes. Consequently, the high app download speed will benefit app marketers who rely on in-app purchases to monetize. The improved speed will benefit another important area – App Streaming. Users can stream entertainment apps at a much faster rate, which in return will help in reducing first-app-visit user abandonment rate.
4. Faster File Transfer: The existing mobile networks use radio waves, while the upcoming 5G will be using bits of electromagnetic spectrum. This means it can deliver spectacular file transfer speeds. If it lives up to the expectation, yes, you can stream 4k videos straight into your smartphones without any lag.
5. Clarity & User Experience: If the technology behind 5G is as advanced as they claim, then the clarity of the User Interfaces is sure to amaze us. Just compare a video quality between 2G network and the latest LTE streaming, you know what we mean. With such advanced features stuffed into 5G, there is not doubt the new network would elevate mobile app UIs to whole new level. Stunning User Experience is going to be one of the biggest perks of 5G.
It’s impact on Industries
Though remote patient monitoring and wearable connected devices is gaining traction, there still remains several obstinate challenges. With the availability of the high speed network, lower latency, faster streaming, and other bundle of capabilities, the Healthcare industry seems odds-on to reap the best of 5G benefits.
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
AR and VR is all set to go mainstream with 5G. Businesses that have great ideas on AR/VR, but were hesitant about its implementation can now expect a sigh of relief. The 5G is said to boost the execution of AR/VR. This means the market is expected to soar several notches high.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Connected devices are growing humongous, however the current bandwidth rates are pretty limited to match that growth; sometimes with just hundreds of transmissions per day and package sizes as small as 12 bytes. The arrival of 5G means the connected devices can receive bandwidth up to 1000Mbps. That is a big leap, say experts. After carefully considering the benefits, IoT analysts say that 5G would most certainly be the catalyst for the second IoT explosion.
Autonomous vehicles, regardless of their accuracy and safety concerns, are growing in numbers. Businesses specialising in transport is looking forward to leverage the best of 5G and witness a revolution. In 2017, Samsung demonstrated the positive impact of 5G a on fast-moving train. The demonstration leveraged 5G advantages such as high throughput, low latency, superior Wi-Fi, and massive connections. It said that 5G will help them provide better passenger infotainment, increased security and analytics.
There were a lot of developments on 5G in 2018, and finally it is getting ready to see the light of the day. But this does not necessarily mean that 5G will weave wonders when it’s out. Experts believe that it will take at least a few years to understand the full potential of the 5G technology. If all goes well, maybe 2020 will be the year 5G might actually take off.