Will 5G be worth the hype?
Mike Stephenson, Director of Calteq calls for operators to rethink data bundles in order to prepare for ultra-fast 5G.
While most of us are still getting to grips with 4G, there’s a new ship on the horizon in the shape of 5G. Will 5G be worth the hype or is it just a clever foil by the carriers to charge us more for data?
Before we all get too excited the truth is that 5G isn’t expected to be commonly available until 2020 so in the meantime, we thought that it might be useful to shed some light on the differences and what we can expect.
To give you some background, 4G is around five times quicker than 3G but runs on the same technology, as opposed to 5G which runs on entirely new technology and will be capable of providing download speeds 1,000 times quicker than 4G – pretty impressive. A mobile network that can handle these kinds of download speeds is sure to be a game-changer but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – first, we should consider the cost of the service and is there even a demand for it?
The key to demand is our hunger for data – it’s growing all of the time, according to a Gartner report last year by the time 2018 comes around 4G users will generate 46 percent of all mobile data traffic, with each 4G smartphone using nearly 5.5GB of data per month. The smarter phones become the more data we will use and who knows what demand will be like by the time 5G launches?
We have established that we are likely to make good use of 5G so now it’s up to the mobile operators to catch up and ensure that they have data packages in place to meet demand. Currently, the maximum data package you can get is 40GB and we would like to see this increased to 200GB and ultimately just as we have for voice calls and texts, unlimited data bundles. Increasingly we are seeing more and more of our customers exceeding their monthly data allowances and that’s just on 4G – mobile carriers need to sit up and take notice and start moving at the same pace as the technology.!
While clearly 5G will have much to offer it will have no use at all if it’s priced out of the market. We will watch its progress with interest.