TUESDAY 11 December, 7am, yes I am really late with copy this month. Sorry Judith! Last month I wrote my article at 7am, but I was by the pool in the Caribbean, it was 25 degrees and sunny, just in case you missed it! Perhaps editorial will leave the photographic proof for one more month to cheer us all up? Well it will cheer me up at least!
The country is in turmoil politically, possibly the most important vote for MPs in decades has been delayed while we try to convince Europe to give us, can I say, a better deal. Hopefully by the time you are reading this things will be clearer and businesses can go forward.
A similar uncertainty surrounds the arrival of the biggest improvement in technology since the introduction of mobile telephones back in the 80s. 5G is coming but exactly when that will be is hard to ascertain. There is no doubting the fact that it will change the way that business and consumers can do things every day. Some are now surmising that it will see the end of fixed line but I sincerely hope this is not going to happen for a long time to come.
In preceding articles we have discussed the possibilities that this technology can or may be able to achieve. But let us just recap. The main benefits of 5G are expected to be that it will be much faster - some are saying as much as 100 times faster. 4G networks generally deliver download speeds between 20 and 100 Megabits per second (Mbit/s). By comparison, 5G promises to offer speeds in excess of 1Gb/s (1000Mbit/s), with many estimates placing it closer to 10Gb/s (10,000Mbit/s).
To place that in context, you will be able to download - not merely stream - a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds on a 5G network. The same task would take closer to 10 minutes on 4G. It will also have lower latency, meaning very little delay when doing things on your device, just milliseconds, which are undetectable as a user. That will help not just with existing things such as online gaming, but could also be vital for things like self-driving cars, where any delay could be the difference between life and death. But that is by no means the full story the possibilities are possibly endless. It will be truly revolutionary and we must engage with it as it arrives or we could be left in the dark ages.
By the time you are reading this Christmas will be gone, it will be 2019 and only 350 more shopping days or so to the next one. Therefore I would like to be the first to wish you all a happy Christmas 2019 and a prosperous 2020 (and, of course, 2019).