Us Aussies are known for being left a little behind when it comes to the latest in ultra-high-speed technology. I appreciate we’re a big country with a tonne of empty space so I’ve come to accept that things such as fibre-optic broadband and 5G, despite having the NBN, are something that we’re likely only going to see in major cities and towns when its launched.
With the announcement of 5G ready mobiles, everyone has been asking what it is, what we can expect from it and when we’re actually going to see it.
Well, it’s already being rolled out, with Telstra (of course) being the first to jump on the 5G bandwagon. Having said that, Optus isn’t far behind them and are offering very attractive prices for both mobile and home broadband in major cities with the hope that 5G will serve over 1000 sites by March next year. Vodafone is also going to be offering 5G to their customers, but it looks like we could be waiting until 2020 for that.
So now we know roughly when and where we’re getting it what can we expect?
Speeds on 5G are expected to be a minimum 20Gbps, those of you that can remember dialup broadband will likely be astounded by such speeds. We will be able to download feature-length movies in just a few seconds and no more waiting for Netflix to buffer during peak hours.
Though eventually, 5G will mean better coverage no matter where we are in the world, it’s likely going to take a few years to come to fruition. 5G masts only have a range of about 1mile so there’s going to have to be a lot more infrastructure built to handle this and some city councils have reservations.
Videos will overall stream faster and in a higher resolution. Technology experts like Joe Jenkins of TheGoodEstate are excited about faster, less-pixelated and overall better quality video, “I have a lot of remote workers in my company which means we do a lot of video calling, with 5G I am hoping to have fewer issues with our video calls, have better sound quality and be able to see my employees with more clarity the line to them; especially when I am walking from one place to another” he said in an interview with us.
Communication Between Autonomous Vehicles
We’re so close to having autonomous vehicles on our roads and one of the safety features that will come with them is the technology to avoid collisions. In order for this to be a success, all vehicles on the road will need to communicate with each other and 5G will make this possible. Data such as traffic levels and GPS will also rely on 5G to stay up-to-date on the latest road traffic issues and update routes accordingly.
Of course, in order to use this new network, we will need devices that are 5G enabled. This may come as a bit of an annoyance to less tech-savvy folk like my mum who will eventually have to replace their handsets just to be able to use their phones. 5G handsets are expected to roll out quicker than 4G ones did. Nevertheless, it will still be over the course of a couple of years; those on phone contracts will likely get a 5G device on their next upgrade. However, we are likely to see a wave of higher pricing for these devices, especially in the beginning.
What are your thoughts on 5G? Are you excited for the rollout? Do you think we’re heading towards the types of future we see in the movies? Especially when we consider what kinds of technology 5G will open us up to. Let us know below.