By Brian Kingston
MONDAY 17 June. Late again, as usual, sorry Business Times. I am not anywhere exotic at the moment, the best I can do is Brighton later this week, for our granddaughter Yana's sports day. Last Friday, 14 June, was dbfb's first ever golf day which, even if I say so myself, was a resounding success raising thousands for Northampton General Hospital Radiotherapy Department. The day and subsequent evening dinner, featuring the 'Voice of Golf' Peter Alliss, was organised by our own Claire Irving who we cannot thank enough for her tremendous work.
But that is not what's 'here', 'happened' or 'on'. No, it's 5G!
EE switched on its 5G service in six cities a whole month ahead of Vodafone and therefore made EE the first network with 5G. London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester were the first six with ambitious roll-out plans going into 2020 though, unfortunately, I have not as yet seen Northampton mentioned.
Obviously you will need a 5G device to take advantage of the switch on and EE has announced that the Samsung GalaxyS10 5G, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and the Oppo Reno 5G are available and 5GEE Home Router and wifi are soon to follow.
Initially, customers can expect to see an increase in speeds of around 100 to 150Mbps but this is an increase from 4G, not the total speed, as apparently in some areas customers could exceed 1Gbps.
This is just the beginning, in 2022 the company will launch its 'full next generation 5G core network'. This will come alongside more capable 5G devices and more 5G spectrum availability allowing for higher bandwidth, lower latency and greater 5G coverage. This will allow for more 5G experiences, such as immersive mobile augmented reality, mobile cloud gaming and real-time health monitoring. During this period EE say they will start to bring together its mobile, fixed and wifi networks providing 'one seamless customer experience'.
But it is not until 2023 that Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications is expected allowing multi gigabit per second speeds. This will enable things such as real-time traffic management of fleets of autonomous vehicles, or millions of devices measuring air quality across the whole country for instance. Then, and only then, will 5G networks begin to live up to their real potential.
So it would seem we still have some time to wait.