One of the treats awaiting attendees at Linn Academy this year, was the discovery that the ICC Birmingham where they event was held had 5g mobile broadband coverage.
In truth, this wasn’t even true 5g but is 4g+ or LTE Advanced (Long-Term Evolution Advanced) and you can expect to see both 4g+ and 5g working together in the near future. Nevertheless, the experience of super fast mobile broadband speeds is amazing.
At Linn Academy, according to Broadband Speed Checker, my mobile hit speeds of 147.82Mb per second download speeds. That’s about four times as fast as my home broadband and testing 4g in the Newbury area upon my return I was getting a paltry 4.72Mb per second. 4g+ and when it rolls out 5g mobile broadband is staggeringly fast and the experience of using it is amazing.
To test the service, I downloaded a full length feature film at the best possible quality from Amazon Prime Video. The entire 105 minute film download took just 1 minute and 20 seconds. Websites loaded almost instantaneously and with one vendor I literally typed in their website URL and had the page loaded while they were still waiting for their website to appear.
Whilst there will be a mix of 4g+ and 5g across the country as the roll out begins. Connections will likely be established with 4G+ and then data transfer at 5g speeds where it’s available. What’s even more staggering is that 5g speeds will peak at a maximum of 300Mb per second – almost double the speeds I was experiencing at Linn Academy.
5g will bring a host of other benefits – greater coverage, fewer drop outs and deep in the mobile cells and devices multiple antennas enabling multiple bitstreams of data to be transmitted in parallel simultaneously.
For ecommerce, 5g mobile broadband will open up new possibilities in AI, multimedia and applications. Just as once it was unthinkable that we would be able to stream music and watch video over mobile, in the future augmented reality and virtual reality will bring new capabilities to our mobile devices and the opportunities for retailers and the technology they use will see a dramatic shift in the functionality they can offer.
Interestingly, whilst everyone obsesses today over page load speed, and while that will never entirely go away, on 5g mobile broadband the focus will be more about optimising the information on a small screen rather than how fast the page can load. Why will be need to bother with load speed optimisation on mobile when desktop views can load in the blink of an eye. What I will be doing as soon as 5g mobile broadband is available at home (or at least 4g+) is to finally dump my landline and home broadband and go entirely mobile as the speed justification of fixed line broadband will vanish.