The world is becoming increasingly connected, mobile, and technologically literate with every passing week. There are billions of smartphones and other IoT devices in use worldwide, and internet connectivity is a top priority for users. That connectivity has evolved steadily over time. From EDGE to EVDO, 2G to 3G, and 3G to 4G, networking performance has increased significantly. As one might expect, 5G technology is the next stage in this evolution. How do we prepare, and what will change with 5G’s global launch?
Assessing the Mobile Landscape
Consumer demands have shifted precipitously over time, and desired use cases for mobile devices have expanded. Accordingly, we’ve come to expect rapid loading times on our connected devices as broadband technology has advanced. Unique usage and browsing habits have driven this. The content users are consuming is increasingly sophisticated — images and videos are much higher resolution than they once were, and file sizes are larger. The advent of streaming services has promised an on-demand viewing experience from almost any location.
What about general internet browsing? The average size of today’s mobile web page has increased sharply over the last decade. Additionally, mobile websites take 87% longer to load than their desktop counterparts. It’s clear that connection speeds must overcome deficiencies in optimization to keep users happy while boosting engagement with online content.
Speed vs. Traffic
Most mobile users from densely-populated areas will share that speed is only half the battle. Cramming millions of wireless network users into a single area triggers issues with congestion, where numerous users are fighting one another for performance and reliability. While today’s 4G bands can support speeds in excess of 200Mbps, carriers in populous areas like Manhattan are struggling to provide high download speeds.
Signals can be finicky entities — they’re obstructed by tall buildings, inclement weather, and changing elevation. A user’s location indoors or underground determines a connection’s dependability. These problems and those aforementioned are what wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are trying to solve with 5G’s ubiquitous rollout.
What Does 5G Aim to Deliver?
5G has some lofty goals for many different people and applications — especially in urban settings. A complete 5G rollout would have the following benefits for businesses and consumers who rely on high-speed mobile networks:
The time it takes for a signal (or request) to make a roundtrip between origin and destination has huge implications for sensitive applications. Response times matter for consumers and commercial players, including those operating sprawling smart networks.
Lower latency (or ping) boosts perceived performance for graphically-rich mobile gaming. Problems arise in the form of ‘lag’ when latency is high. Delays hamper user experiences and are frustrating when time is of the essence. On the smart networking end, maintaining quick communication between complex device meshes is essential because these ecosystems handle massive quantities of real-time data. Ensuring that all endpoints are enjoying peak performance is key. Luckily, this shouldn’tContinue reading