What is 5G and How Will It Affect the Consumer?

The Race to Woo the 5G Consumer

5G isn’t just a boon for organizations and governments looking to speed up their networks; consumers will also be affected by the technology. For example, while the auto industry will benefit from the low latency of 5G to improve autonomous vehicles, the end consumer will be the ultimate operator of driverless cars. While marketers may see 5G as a boon to their industry, improving their abilities to deliver larger, more interactive ads, the ultimate target of such marketing campaigns is the consumer.

The same is true in several network-dependent industries, as consumers’ interactions with each other and businesses grow more and more dependent on internet connectivity. Customers may become sandwiched between tussling competitors looking to gain an edge from 5G. This is also part of the reason why world governments have maintained close tabs on developments in the 5G space, doling out regulations early enough to ensure a smooth rollout that carries everyone along.

In the best case scenario, customers will get to enjoy an extraordinary array of services incorporating emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and beyond. And most amazing is the ease of access to these technologies, taking advantage of the wireless nature of speedy 5G connections via the consumer’s cellular phone.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile network technology. Here’s what can be expected of the technology based on preliminary standards:

  • 5G will provide mobile data users with a number of mold-breaking enhancements, including data bandwidth that’s 50 times that of the current generation, along with data transfer speeds that are 100’s of times faster.
  • Latency that’s also 50 times lower than the 50 milliseconds of the current generation.
  • 5G also makes for low power consumption, allowing connected devices remain active with minimal power requirements. This will be critical to the incorporation of the IoT in our everyday lives.  

These capabilities are expected to propel other network-dependent technologies, such as AI, Cloud technology, IoT, etc. This, in turn, will aid a smoother rollout of even more technologies, such as autonomous cars, surgical robots, and a range of devices for smart cities and homes. The possibilities are endless, and more likely to become reality sooner rather than later with the ongoing 5G rollout.


The most crucial ways 5G will impact consumers

Here’s a closer look at the interaction between consumers and 5G.

l  The proliferation of innovative products


Not only will 5G change the way billions of smart devices are used today, it will also usher in tide of innovative products in various industries targeting consumers as end users. According to Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, 5G could open the door to a $12 trillion global goods and services opportunity by 2035. These products will integrate a vast range of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality.

l  Unlimited network capacity


5G is the closest customers can get to a truly unlimited experience. It’s high speeds, high bandwidth, and low latency mean video calls will be crisp, clear, and instantaneous for all users, and movie downloads will take place in a matter of seconds, no matter the quantity or quality. Web pages will also offer a more enriched user interface that would be otherwise constrained under current network technologies.

l  Greater cloud utilities


5G will allow companies to further customize their products and services to suit each customer based on their cloud activities. For instance, imagine showing up to a hotel room during a vacation, where all your favorite shows, movies, and documentaries will automatically be downloaded to your room’s television, customizing your experience instantaneously.

l  Zero latency


With instantaneous connections, 5G-based technologies will become more efficient and applicable to everyday life. For everyday phone users, this significant drop in latency will result in even more  seamless daily routine. For instance, a study shows that a delay of more than 20 milliseconds nauseates VR and AR users With its nearly scraped latency, 5G will allow image processing in AR and VR technologies to occur at a rate faster than that of the human brain, blending the virtual images with reality.

Final words


The jury is still out on the scope of the impact 5G will have on consumers. After all, current LTE connections are seemingly speedy enough to handle consumers’ daily smartphone needs. Therefore, there’s a question as to how significant an impact an even faster network will have, where consumers seem quite satisfied with current speeds.

But 5G goes beyond speedy downloads and smoother streaming. The technology takes on a larger variety of applications that could change consumers’ lifestyles. From autonomous cars to smart cities, surgical robots, and beyond, the fifth generation of mobile network technology could trigger concrete lifestyle changes.

Also, check out the infographic from LiveTiles that encompasses all facets of 5G from the benefits to the risks:

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