The Rise of 5G Mobile and Its Impact on Software
October 30, 2018
What if I told you we were on the brink of a revolution comparable to the introduction of electricity and the automobile? Would you believe me?
Electricity offered us the speed of light, and the automobile advanced the speed of travel. But, according to industry experts, 5G mobile will revolutionize the speed of connectivity. The network will enhance connections between people and things, and accelerate the current era of connecting things to, well, other things.
The Power of 5G Mobile Products
Our job at stable|kernel is to connect our clients to their employees, customers and ‘things’ (ie. equipment) through mobile products that simplify methods of delivering information. The 5th generation (5G) of mobile communication is very exciting for mobile software consultants like us. We rely on the rapid transfer of information to ensure successful products. Our capable code is only as advantageous as the network that it travels through. Therefore, we depend on network improvements like 5G to continue advancing the development of reliable, scalable software. Ready for some stats? This network will outperform the pre-existing 4G by:
- 10x reduced connection density
- 10x reduced latency (delivering as low as 1 ms)
- 100x more traffic capacity
- 100x network efficiency
More importantly, we build products for our customers in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. This system will greatly benefit from 5G mobile with its capacity to connect billions of devices at a time with remarkable velocity. Machina Research predicts “IoT will account for one-quarter of the global 41 million 5G connections in 2024.”
For example, we’ve connected Rheem Manufacturing water heaters and HVAC equipment embedded with sensors to Android and iOS mobile apps. This system provides remote control and energy management to customers. And remote diagnostics and data collection to Rheem engineers. We create IoT ecosystems that leverage a mobile interface for delivering and managing data. These ecosystems require massive data transfer at high speeds. 5G mobile will be critical for the development and increasing scalability of IoT mobile products. 5G will bring users improved network speed and capacity, reduced power usage, reduced latency (or load time), lower costs and innovative business models. 5G will enable us to build more complex features and guarantee real-time, lightning fast data delivery. Lastly, it will reduce the risk of system failures to support our mobile products.
How did we get here?
The debut of 1G mobile communication presented users analog voice calling through a clunky, large mobile device. 2G networks introduced a cheaper digital voice service. 3G brought us the mobile Internet, computing and the explosion of mobile apps. 4G was the catalyst for mobile broadband. It provided us with a platform for streaming audio and video, social media and real-time services like Waze and Uber. “With 5G, we’ll see computing capabilities getting fused with communications everywhere, so trillions of things like wearable devices don’t have to worry about computing power because network can do any processing needed,” claims Asha Keddy VP IoT (Intel).
Yet 5G mobile has emerged with its fair share of challenges. It took years of work to lay the foundation and essential infrastructure like cell tower upgrades to support increased broadband. Incredible feats of engineering and significant research and development made this level of network connectivity possible.
The Landscape of 5G Mobile Today
Verizon was the first U.S. provider to launch a 5G home broadband service in October 2018. The network faced criticism because of the limited reach and absence of mobile capabilities. However, the U.S. is in the race to 5G mobile deployment with global powerhouses South Korea, Japan and China. Did you watch the 2018 Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea? This Asian nation was officially the first country to introduce the power of 5G in PyeongChang. It was used for self-driving cars to get around and virtual reality viewing of the events.
But, just last week, AT&T announced the rollout of 5G mobile in ‘the next few weeks’ to 12 lucky cities across the U.S – one is our beloved city of Atlanta. The other cities span the South and parts of the Midwest. Along with AT&T’s initial commercial rollout, the provider is coupling its efforts with hardware-enabled 5G mobile connectivity. AT&T is laying fiber cables to expand the 5G reach to an estimated 22 million customers by mid-2019. Customers will be able to access the network through mobile hotspot ‘pucks’ that wirelessly connect to a handful of portable devices like laptops.
5G mobile connectivity is an exciting prospect because of the network improvements that could improve every vertical. Industries including Healthcare, Automotive, Manufacturing, Supply chain, Agriculture, Entertainment will lead the charge. But, the list will grow as the network continues to mature and expand its reach. Data-driven technologies like machine learning models, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and IoT will be revolutionized. The evolution of cloud optimization and edge computing for 5G mobile will secure the shift to more modern architectures. The future of 5G promises a new generation of astounding innovation that we feel lucky to cultivate in valuable ways for our customers.
The question is…are you ready for the 5G revolution?