EE reports 5G set for 2020
Keen on satisfying the world’s hunger for faster data, the major players in the UK’s mobile industry have been trying out 4G networks in the UK since 2009.
EE, 02, Vodafone and 3 were awarded the frequency spectrum by Ofcom in 2012 that would allow them to offer 4G services and a year later the regulator gave them the green light to reconfigure their networks for 4G.
By the end of 2013 these operators had launched their 4G and have since been rolling it out phase by phase to different parts of the country.
But even as more and more consumers begin enjoying the video streaming and online gaming functionalities that LTE technology makes possible, people are already talking about fifth generation mobile networks.
Specifications for this tech have not yet been clearly defined by ITU and a network offering anything beyond 4G capabilities is considered to be 5G.
But as mobile networks are saddled with functions previously left to wired broadband, Ed Ellis, one of EE’s strategists predicts that demand for faster networks will continue to grow.
And consumers of mobile data will find their answer in 5G which EE says is capable of offering 1,000 to 5,000 times more data capacity than any of its predecessors.
For this reason the firm has invested in research into the novel technology.
“People are using a mobile connection to perform what a fixed line would have done previously,” Ellis said in an interview. People living in the rural parts of the UK will want to be able to stream video over mobile networks while other services such as augmented reality and mobile gaming will see a rise in demand.
EE recently announced that the customer base for their 4G data grew from 889,000 to close to three million in the last quarter.
The company’s 4G network now covers 200 towns, a massive leap from when they started with just 10 cities in 2012.
The future is looking rosy and the operator hopes that by the end of 2014, its customer base on fourth generation networks will have hit six million.
Users themselves will be thrilled at what the enhanced data will translate to on their tablets and smartphones.
You will be able to seamlessly stream ultra-HD video with a 5G handset receiving data at up to 100Mbps. Experts say 5G networks will be able to support peak rates of between 10 and 100Gbps, delivering high quality data in milliseconds.