The anticipation over 5G mobile networking and the advanced technology that powers it has been looming in the UK for the last few years. Both the United States and some parts of Asia have already begun the vast undertaking of developing the infrastructure needed for 5G networks, and some communities in the UK are now on their own path toward growth in the market. Although capital restraints exist, forward progress is being made in certain cities to bring 5G to businesses and consumers in 2019 and the years to come.
Recently, Fusebox in Brighton became the latest testbed for small businesses to potentially benefit from the expansion of 5G networks. The location is meant to work as a dedicated space for companies, both established and new, to explore the applications available through 5G and how those might benefit their growth and development. The testbed is part of the government’s broad commitment to be a world leader in 5G technology, helping local businesses and ultimately their customers take part in the innovative advancements 5G has to offer.
Launched in 2017, 5G testbeds are a part of the government initiative to bring 5G to the masses in the UK. With funding from government sources, often matched by private organisations and companies, 5G testbeds are intended to help the UK develop and expand 5G networks in a thoughtful and impactful way. With the help of 5G testbeds, companies in Brighton have an opportunity to expand their reach with the help of services and application in 5G that have not yet been fully explored.
Even though other countries have successfully launched 5G technologies in a handful of real-life applications, the UK has taken a more conservative approach to bring the network to businesses and residents. The idea behind testbeds is to implement a trial programme where companies can work through the early-stage development issues and connectivity obstacles that may come with 5G expansion. Instead of jumping in feet first, the government has made it clear that a tepid entrance into 5G and the speed and connectivity improvements it promises is a smarter choice. This has the potential to position the UK as a leader in 5G technology, albeit at a slower pace the other developed countries.
What Consumers Can Expect
The excitement over 5G from both business and consumer perspectives is closely tied to the enhanced speed and connectivity the technology has the potential to provide. The move from 3G to 4G networks in mobile technology proved beneficial to users around the world, but 5G promises to boost mobile experience even more significantly. However, as 5G expands into more applications, consumers can expect some other changes as well.
According to a finance expert at Money Pug, a website used to compare mobile contracts, mobile carriers throughout the UK have yet to provide guidance on the cost increase that will be passed down to mobile users. Many anticipate that a premium will be levied on mobile contracts given the increased speed and more reliable connectivity 5G provides. Although this mobile contract premium may be insignificant in the long run, mobile users need to take time to compare their options with various providers to ensure they are getting the best possible deal. Each carrier will likely have its own pricing structure based on 5G enhancements, each which should be carefully reviewed for cost and benefit comparisons.
The Future of 5G
The introduction of 5G testbeds in Brighton and other locations throughout the UK is a promising step in the right direction toward bringing 5G to the public. Experts suggest that these recent developments highlight the government’s commitment to enabling greater technologies for businesses and consumers alike. However, a full rollout of 5G networking around the country may still be years away. The infrastructure needed to make 5G a reality requires a substantial capital infusion, as well as an investment of time by the technology companies and mobile carriers expected to provide it.
Given these hurdles, a move to 5G in select communities such as Brighton may not come until 2020. Full adoption of network capabilities for 5G technology on a grander scale is not anticipated until 2025.