London to get 5G Mobile Networks by 2020

It’s been reported today that the well known tech guru & London Mayor Boris Johnson has pledged that London will cement its reputation as a ‘Tech Capital’ of the world by pushing ahead with plans to introduce high speed ‘5G’ mobile data networks by the year 2020. That’s a least an ambitious 2 years a head of EE’s own plans.

Further details on the scheme are set to be announced later in the week, but this initial announcement would certainly seem to set to wet the appetite for a data rich future with an aspiration being set for 1 second downloads for 800MB films.

Of course a number of questions remain to be answered.

What exactly does 5G mean?
The formal standard has yet to be agreed so the exact specifications are currently unknown, so we don’t know exactly what Boris is aiming to achieve. At this stage we don’t even know if the plan is to use a recognise a known standard technology or for the Uk to develop its own standard.
Let’s not forget that when LTE was launched in the UK it’s performance fell short of the agreed 4G standard.

What does it mean for traditional fixed lines?
If 5G really reaches the levels of speed predicted then will it really be worth any further investment, not to mention the physical disruption, in physical wired internet connections, when wireless networks would be easier to implement.

What about those of us outside of London?
Ask rural Lincolnshire what they think of their current Mobile Data Speeds and the response wouldn’t be positive, perhaps the investment might be better spent in getting the uk completely covered with a 4G or even solid 3G data signal. The benefits to the total population would be significant – imagine a nurse being guaranteed to access her clinical system in your home, rather then the lottery currently experienced with the connectivity challenge.

We’ll keep watching this story but there was one other snippet of information mentioned that is of interest, within London the expected internet speeds in a property has to be honestly advertised, now that would be a refreshing change.