How 5G can revolutionise digital signage and business

You think 4G is fast? Think again. The fifth generation of mobile networking promises to be a real game changer for all businesses and, in particular, those delivering high-quality content through digital signage.

5G is due to officially start rolling out in the UK in 2020, but while it’s unlikely to be widespread until 2022 there’s a chance some networks – we’re looking at you EE – will aim to beat the 2020 rollout date. With this in mind, read on for your pocket-sized essential guide to 5G and what it could mean for you and your business.

The basics

As you’d expect, 5G is set to be quicker than 4G, but it’s the size of the jump that’s eye-catching. Current 4G speeds are 100Mbps or 300Mbps for 4G+, but 5G will offer anything between one and 10Gbps (that’s 10 to 100 times the speed of 4G), with EE already demonstrating consistent download speeds of 2.8Gbps in trials.

The extra speed is accompanied by significantly lower latency – the delay between requesting something and the transfer starting. The promise is latency of just 1ms compared to 45ms for 4G and 120ms for 3G. The net result is that 5G will feel snappier, giving a similar response to a wired network.

5G is able to deliver greater speeds because it will transmit over higher frequency bands, but the trade-off will be that range will be greatly reduced. 5G networks have been designed to work around this problem and will consist of smaller multiple input and output (MIMO) antennae dotted around in greater densities than the large-scale masts currently employed by older mobile technologies.

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