2021 will be the year 5G technology revolutionises Britain, experts claim.
It will change the way we communicate, watch sport and concerts, and access personal healthcare.
As we emerge from the horror of 2020, your Daily Star spoke to two of the biggest tech firms in Britain about the way 5G is set to grow and evolve in the coming 12 months.
5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband mobile phone networks.
Telephone firms including BT and Three started rolling it out from 2019, but it’ll take a massive leap in the coming months and users can expect a huge step forward in speed, reliability and what you can do with it compared to ageing 4G networks.
5G is devised to connect virtually everyone and everything together, including objects, devices and machines, and is said to be 100 times faster than previous technology.
It is designed to work at an average 150-200megabytes per second, while peak speeds can reach above 1gigabyte per second. This means you’ll be able to download a full HD film in three minutes, compared to over 15 minutes on 4G.
But sheer speed is just the tip of the iceberg.
Nathalie Vafiadis, of BT Consumer, believes we’re about to see a revolution in the way we live, thanks to 5G and modern pandemic Britain.
She said: “Connectivity is more important than ever.
“We have adapted to a much more virtual way of working, learning and communicating.
“Many of us are using video platforms to collaborate with colleagues and to keep in touch with family and friends.
“That appetite for video will continue to grow in 2021 and people will expect the same experience they get at home when they’re mobile. 5G will continue to be switched on in even more cities and towns across the UK to meet that demand.
“We can expect to see 5G expand to more commuter towns and suburban areas, as well as places with high footfall, such as city centres, railway stations, high streets and stadia.”
She added: “2021 will see more uses for 5G coming to life. We’ve already seen some exciting examples of it in action, from revolutionising the way fans watch sport with Augmented Reality to the world’s first gig streamed simultaneously over 5G to three cities.
“The next era of 5G tech will bring even more, from mobile cloud gaming to real-time health monitoring. As these are developed, customer uptake will continue to grow.”
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Phone network Three also believes 5G will help save us time, effort and money.
Bosses at the firm envisage it taking control of our homes and cities, using AI tech to control our roads, central heating, security and essential services, as well as allowing firms to reduce costs and pass on the savings to consumers while improving the environment.
A spokesman said: “Although 5G is still very much in its infancy, now all the major manufacturers have their 5G devices available and the networks continue to expand, it will really come into its own.
“4G brought us faster internet and enabled businesses to build new models and apps around it, such as Uber, Instagram, Snapchat and streaming services, which we are all now familiar with.
“5G is not just about speed, it’s also about capacity and ultra-low latency – which is the time it takes from you requesting an action from your mobile device to you receiving a response.
“This year, our customers used on average 15GB of data per month for the first time, as they kept connected and entertained through the pandemic.
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“5G is really going to accelerate how we stay connected. From the smart home through to smart cities, many industries will be revolutionised by 5G.
“Smart cities will enable a range of social improvements, from simple things such as motion-sensored street lighting that improves safety and energy efficiencies, through to traffic management and environmental benefits.”
He added: “5G is so much more than the most hyped aspects, such as driverless cars, robots and drones.
“There will continue to be progress across many industries that will eventually change the way we live and hopefully enable us to improve day-to-day life.
“As it continues to be rolled out and becomes more accessible, we will begin to see innovations in everyday life.
“The huge capacity of 5G will mean homes, businesses and working life will no longer be constrained by current limitations that often cause inefficiencies and cost time or money, or both.”
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