What is 5G and How is it going to change mobile apps?
The new technological infrastructure will demand a re-conceptualization of how to deliver content.
Unprecedented, game-changing and also controversial – 5G technology is set to revolutionize not only the way that data is transferred and used, but also the very fabric of how humans interact with each other and the world.
AI-controlled cars, intuitive and fast-learning personal assistants and data speeds that will allow Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) to blend seamlessly into our ever-evolving arsenal of devices – 5G technology promises to change our lives over the next decade in a major way.
One of its major impacts is will be in its expansion of the possibilities of mobile apps and the way content is delivered and consumed.
Before we get into some of the ways 5G is going to achieve that, it will be useful to briefly explain what the technology actually is.
5G: A New Paradigm
The Fifth Generation Wireless Network (5G) is enabled by an entirely new technological architecture to its predecessors 4G, 3G, 2G and 1G. With each new network technology, data speed and latency rates have improved significantly, allowing the applications for data and the internet to evolve in tandem.
5G represents the biggest leap forward to date. 3G, averaged around 2 megabytes per second (mbps). 4G, which was first launched in 2008 and was introduced in the US in 2010 and Europe in 2012, brought us the ability to have relatively stable video calls, wireless gaming and loading on web pages in under a second. That was achieved through data speeds that average around 20 mbps globally.
5G is expected to bring speeds of between 10-60 gigabytes per second (gbps). Those kinds of speeds are going to allow for much more complex data and media to be transmitted to users’ devices. And it is expected that 15% of the world’s mobile users – or 1.4 billion devices – will be on 5G networks by 2025.
That is going to present a huge expansion in opportunities for content creators equipped with the tools to create rich and immersive media experiences for their target audiences.
However, enormously faster data speeds aren’t the only thing that has people excited about 5G.
The other key aspect of 5G is its ability to bring latency speed – a term that is used to essentially measure the time between a command and an output, or a ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ in a network, down to near-zero.
For developers, this presents both a huge opportunity to create apps and programs that can interact with individual devices in seamless, instantaneous real-time.
5G Mobile Apps and Content
One of the most immediate manifestations of 5G will be in the proliferation of marketers using incredibly rich 4K to communicate their messages to their target audiences. However, that will be just the tip of the iceberg of what eventually becomes possible through 5G.
Immediately responsive web apps will allow for new mediums of interactivity, with VR, AR and XR expected to become ever more widespread in marketing, advertising and content delivery, with content creators immersing their target groups in live-streamed video that reaches 8K resolution through VR headsets.
One way you can position your company for the coming 5G revolution will be to ensure that your marketing teams have access to the types of designers and graphic artists that will be required to create the content for these new rich media experiences.
Once 5G really takes hold, and engineers develop ever more complex devices and technologies that are able to make the most of its revolutionary technological architecture, lightning speeds and extremely low latency, mobile apps are going to have to evolve.
They will need to serve the new demands and tastes of users, which will be shaped by the ultra-responsive, immersive and all-encompassing Internet of Things (IoT) in which they live their lives.
5G is exciting because it is allowing developers and engineers to imagine concepts and products that were previously un-realizable, because of the constraint of our data speeds and latency. It might be a fun exercise to brainstorm what kind of digital product you would like to create if data speed and latency was not an issue, because it soon won’t be.
If you want to start dreaming about your 5G-ready mobile app, get in touch and we’ll be happy to start the conversation with you.