A lot has been said about the new 5G technology. Fears and conspiracy theories have spread across Facebook despite UK 5G being at a lower frequency than a lot of home WiFi networks.
There is, though, more immediate problems for 5G if you’re Huawei. The US has effectively branded the company “unsafe” and have banned them from operating or working with any US company. This has led to Huawei and Honor trying to sell smartphones which lack the Google Play store, Google Maps and YouTube. Sure, you can still use the web versions but that familiarity is gone. Thus, the shiny new Huawei 5G phones will struggle to sell in most places across the globe due to the inability for Huawei t work with American-based Google.
Luckily, the company still has a lot to fall back on. Originally, the UK government had given Huawei the green light for the company to continue providing a lot of the back-end kit for 5G. A limited role in the UK 5G roll-out meant that they would at least be able to provide radio masts. However, a review is now being conducted into the impact of allowing Huawei telecoms equipment in 5G networks. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is getting involved and it could lead to a total ban on Huawei network kit.
There’s continuing fears that Huawei is a security risk and that the company could spy on or even sabotage communications. The current “35% limit” will see Huawei removed from the most sensitive core parts of the mobile network, but pressure is growing to make that 0% by 2023 instead. Should this happen, it would amount to a hasty reversal of the policy announced in January, and would add a substantial cost to the phone companies involved. Huawei equipment is already deployed, so replacing that will cost the UK networks millions.
Why, though, do we need 5G?
I mentioned this last week. In a normal day, over the existing 4G connection I have, my speeds will reach around 50Mbps. That’s faster than a lot of home (wired) broadband connections. The “real world” 5G speeds might, when we’re all connected and not doing sanitized “tests”, be around 200Mbps.
Why do we need faster speeds? It feels like what we have now is fine, right? Well, no – there’s a few reasons why 5G is important.
First, gaming has changed massively in recent times. No longer do we travel to stores and buy discs. Instead we’re downloading games onto consoles or phones. Updates will be pushed down and – as we’ve seen with games like Fortnite – you need a fast connection for lag-free gameplay and multi-player games. Likewise, we’re seeing on-demand and streamed gaming happening – games delivered over a web browser rather than waiting for a download to happen. The key drivers are the likes of casinos and gambling houses, who have perfected the art of web-based gaming delivery in recent years. You can see just some examples on sites like http://www.playonlinecasino.xyz/ where smooth graphics, surround sound and the overall “experience” has to be as true and as realistic as possible. Also, 5G will mean a lower latency, so gaming won’t have any lag or interruptions.
5G is going to ensure that the current mobile providers can compete on a more level playing field too. They can now offer services which, most of the time, will be better than the traditional fixed broadband providers. You’ll be able to get streaming TV services and incredibly-quick home or office internet from the likes of Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three with 5G-enabled routers. No wires, no installation, no holes in the walls. Just a box, a 5G connection and a WiFi hotspot.
Another benefit is the ability to have more devices connected at once, and “network slicing” will mean that connectivity can be adjusted to specific needs – giving different priority levels to different types of traffic.
As we move forwards, there’ be less of a dependency on the phone. We’ll need the CPU and the GPU less. There’ll be less of a need to have masses of internal storage. Instead, we’ll rely more on the “cloud” and we’ll not want to wait while our favourite video of the cat is uploaded to it. So 5G, that’s going to massively increase performance.