If you happened to find yourself at Mobile World Congress, one of Europe’s biggest tech shows, in Barcelona this week, you would have spent a lot of time with the phrase ‘5G’ etched into your retinas.
The next generation in mobile technology is set to arrive this year, with widespread coverage promised for 2020. Hardware companies, software companies, and consultancies were all on hand to offer their opinion on what 5G will mean for the future.
“With what 5G can do – zero lag, super sonic speeds, a million devices in one square mile online, I think it will allow new experiences,” Conor Pierce, corporate VP for Samsung UK and Ireland, told the Standard.“People are talking about autonomous driving, remote surgery, cloud gaming – three examples of what 5G will allow.
“I think when you have common ground and reliable connection to 5G, I think that will allow us to engage in different ways – it’s the beginning of a new era for the way we live our lives.”
There were a couple of areas that stood out in terms of where we will start to see the immediate impact with the speeds and higher bandwidth that 5G will bring, from gaming, to virtual reality, and human connection.
Gaming speeds are going to be mind-blowing
A few companies have been showcasing how 5G will make an impact when it comes to gaming. Chinese phone company OnePlus had a prototype of its 5G smartphone on show at MWC, showcasing cloud gaming.
The prototype device features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, the chipset that will bring 5G connectivity to devices. “Gaming is one of the fastest things we can start seeing implementations in, an area in which 5G will probably have an immediate impact,” OnePlus co-founder and director of global, Carl Pei, told the Standard.
“I’ve seen other demos with 5G calling and video but to be honest, you can do that on 4G. But I think cloud gaming is a space where you couldn’t have done it in 4G, so this helps spark people’s imagination of what is really possible.”
Cloud gaming will allow people to play large-sized games online that are generally only accessible after being downloaded on a PC. However, using 5G technology, people will be able to stream these games on their smartphones, experience high definition, and with low latency, will enable players to game on the go like never before.