The Dawn of 5G Connectivity: what does it mean for mobile websites?

The Dawn of 5G Connectivity

8th September 2019 gecko

How Will 5G Differ from Today’s 4G Networks?

Look around today, and you will quickly see signs of the ongoing technology revolution (including 5G). Back in the 1990s, using the Internet was a novelty reserved for academics and computer nerds. Fast forward to the present day, and most of us are relying on our smartphones (and their mobile connectivity) in our everyday lives. The development of mobile-friendly websites plays a significant role in improving the lives of ordinary users. After all, many people would be adrift without near-instant access to navigation tools and mobile shopping applications.

However, the networks that these applications and websites were tailor-made for is about to become outdated. Yesterday’s cutting-edge 4G networks will soon give way to the rise of the 5G revolution. What does this change mean for mobile users? And how will it affect the future development of mobile websites?

The Dawn of 5G Connectivity | Gecko, Cyprus Website Design

Believe it or not, the most significant impact that 5G technology will have on mobile websites are in the improvements this new standard offers over legacy 4G connectivity. There is a lot of hype surrounding the improved speeds provided by 5G, but this is only part of the story.

Some of the most impactful improvements include:

Low Latency

When compared to 4G networks, 5G cuts latency (or the time it takes for a data transfer to start after it has been requested) by a factor of 50. A significant development. As lower latency will provide a useful window for mobile developers looking to explore virtual reality (VR) use cases in future apps.

Higher Connection Density

While 4G permits a few thousand devices to connect to the network in one area simultaneously, 5G will support up to 1 million devices in the same space. You are unlocking nearly limitless potential for those looking to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) for mobile platforms.

New Use Cases

It may sound overblown. However, 5G connectivity is such a paradigm shift that it can be challenging to envision future use cases through the eyes of today’s mobile users. Developers will be greeted with almost infinite options when developing new mobile websites, which is sure to yield innovative new features.

The Dawn of 5G Connectivity | Gecko, Cyprus Website Design

5G Influence for Mobile Development

Attempting to cover all of the reverberations 5G will have on mobile development is a tall task, especially for a short blog post. Some of the most notable effects that 5G will have on mobile development are:

Faster File Transfers

Secure 5G connections will allow users to download full-length movies and other large files in seconds

Less Reliance on Hardware

Faster connections will enable developers to shift more functionalities to the cloud. Sub-par hardware specs will no longer limit budget-friendly mobile devices.

Security Issues

Most of what 5G offers is beneficial, but these improvements are sure to come with new security risks. Developers must be mindful of website and application security during all stages of 5G-related development.

There are many changes to the world of mobile connectivity on the way. The dawn of 5G networks, which should be widely available for most regions in the coming years, is sure to provide exciting new features for all users to enjoy.

The Dawn of 5G Connectivity | Gecko, Cyprus Website Design

What about health concerns?

Understandably people are concerned about the higher frequency spectrum used by 5G mobile networks. And, indeed, there will be a lot more 5G antennas in a given area than would have previously been needed by a 4G network. The reasons are two-fold; partially because the higher frequency has a shorter-wavelength and the transmission distance is therefore reduced. Secondly, 5G uses less power than 4G networks and will require more antennas to maintain connectivity when roaming.

Supporters of 5G will say there is nothing to worry about because it is non-ionising radiation; a term that means it lacks sufficient energy to breakdown DNA, or cause damage at a cellular level. But even though it operates in the frequency band of 30Ghz to 300Ghz, it is still well below the more toxic frequencies of Ultra-violet, X-Rays and Gamma Rays. Unfortunately, there is still not yet a reputable report as to the health hazards to the introduction of a 5G network.

Radio Frequency Spectrum
source: Wikipedia "A diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum, showing various properties across the range of frequencies and wavelengths"

The World Health Organisation (“WHO”) says:

“electromagnetic frequency exposures below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP guidelines do not appear to have any known consequence on health.”

…I bet that makes you all feel a lot better.

 

Part of the 5G network falls into the microwave band of frequencies.

The ‘heating effects [microwave] are not harmful’; says Prof Rodney Croft, an adviser to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). He goes on to say: “The maximum radio frequency level that someone in the community could be exposed to from 5G (or any other signals in general community areas) is so small that no temperature rise has been observed to date.

This claim may yet be premature. After all, there has not, however, been a massive rollout of 5G networks!

However, these concerns are, perhaps, not unfounded.

Ever since mobile telephony became the ‘norm’ there have been concerns about its impact on health. And, in some cases, telephone companies have removed ‘masts’ from areas close to schools. We’d have to ask ourselves. Why would they move a mast if it was safe?

We’ll have to wait and see. Though’ I’m not sure, I would want a tower in my garden. And, pollution takes many forms, cars, aeroplanes, and fossil fuel power stations, to name a few. And, all of them making things worse.

I guess we’re just thankful to be alive!

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Cyprus Related stories on 5G technology…

Cyta has announced that it will be ready to launch the service to consumers within the first half of 2020.

  • Read more at
    • ‘5G revolution’ will transform our lives says Cyta [Cyprus Mail]
    • Leaping into a 5G world but not everyone is on board yet [Cyprus Mail]
    • Experts predict delays for 5G rollout in Cyprus [Financial Mirror]
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