Last week, the UK's first ever live 5G factory trial got underway. At the Worcestershire 5G Testbed, the technology was turned on to see how 5G can be used to enhance factory productivity. Moreover, today Vodafone have also switched on their superfast network in Manchester Airport, ahead of a wider launch next year.
These two trials, alongside similar tests in Canary Warf last year, show that 5G is coming to the UK and sooner than many of us expected. So, what is 5G and how will it improve experiences for the average mobile user?
Read on to find out more about 5G, including when we can expect it to launch in the UK officially and how it will change mobile gaming.
What Is 5G?
5G is short for ‘fifth generation' and it refers to mobile network technology. Most mobile users currently use 4G technology to access the internet on their mobile devices or 3G when the signal is patchy. 5G, as the name suggests then, is the next generation of connectivity.
Essentially, 5G is an enhanced network service which will make using your mobile faster and better than ever before. This not only refers to internet data usage but also call quality and texts too.
How Does 5G Work?
At the moment, mobile networks use radio waves to process user activity. However, 5G will also use parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to process this information, as well as both higher and lower radio frequencies. These are parts of the spectrum which aren't currently in use, and therefore remain unobstructed.
As such, 5G is able to offer much quicker service and will be capable of catering for a larger number of users. This is essential, as more people are using the internet on their mobiles than ever before.
If that all sounds a little complicated, think of it this way:
Currently, all mobile usage is processed via one stream, much as if all drivers had to use only one motorway to get anywhere. The motorway would then be very busy and susceptible to traffic jams, right? But what if someone was to open up a new superhighway which catered for more lanes of cars. This would be much faster for everybody involved.
5G is a bit like that, sort of.
When Will 5G Launch in the UK?
When 5G was first announced, it was expected that it would take until 2020 to have the technology and infrastructure in place to roll out the new services. However, the competitive nature of the mobile industry means that much has already been completed ahead of time.
The mobile network Three have already announced plans to launch their services as early as the middle of this year. Moreover, with Vodafone's recent trials, it looks like they could be hot on their heels too. This means that users can expect 5G to be offered by at least the end of the year.
How Will 5G Improve Mobile Gaming?
As we've already mentioned, 5G will benefit mobile users as it will be much quicker than the mobile data you're using at the moment. This will enable you to download games and apps quicker when you're on the go and it will also help to eliminate any losses in connection or interruptions.
Besides speed, there are also some specific benefits for those who love gaming on the go:
More Virtual Reality Games and Apps
Although many casino software developers are already working on VR casino games and slots, the technology remains inaccessible to all as it's so expensive. Moreover, it cannot be processed by 4G networks (as it's so data-heavy) and therefore it cannot be enjoyed on the go.
5G however, should be able to cope with VR technology. Not only does this mean that mobile VR games may be just around the corner, but it also means that the market for VR games is set to expand. As such, we can expect even more developers to be putting efforts into creating mobile VR casino games.
No Need for Broadband
Many 5G experts believe that the technology may eliminate the need for a broadband connection in our homes as it will offer great download speeds. It could also become a budget-friendly option, as new broadband lines are expensive to set-up.
For mobile gamers, this would mean only paying one bill a month and it could even offer a much more stable connection. After all, haven't we all had enough wifi issues to make us beg for something better?
Last, but by no means least, 5G will offer smoother gameplay. Whilst 4G connections are generally OK for mobile gaming, they are liable to lagging and dropping out altogether.
5G should eradicate these issues, meaning that you can look forward to completely smooth gameplay in the near future.