Impact of 5G on the web industry and industry as a whole

Impact of 5G on the web industry

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Before we start this article, I will briefly discuss what 5G is. We are not going to review any of the issues pertaining to the safety concerns that have been raised by some people. This is purely an article relating to 5G and how we at ID Studio feel it may affect industry, and with a particular focus on the web design industry.

What is 5G and how does it differentiate from 4G and predecessors?

The fifth-generation cellular network will provide wireless speeds that are massively faster than what we currently enjoy. 4G (and to some extent 3G) is what the majority of people use in the United Kingdom, we are told can top out at 100megabits per second (I doubt anyone has ever achieved this in public), and we are told to expect speeds of up to 100 times this with 5G, so potentially this could allow for 10 gigabits per second (again, I doubt anyone will have the privilege of experiencing this). Personally, I think we will be achieving ten times the current speed we have now. As with a lot of articles aimed at consumers, companies often exaggerate in their favour. I hope that I am proven wrong and will update this blog once we have more credible and firsthand data to work from.

Is 5G secure?

Again, this article will not delve into the current political issues of foreign-owned companies being involved with the core infrastructure. We will leave that to the politicians and big business to argue over. One of the main security advantages with 5G is the ability to slice sensitive data over different parts of the network. We are also told that 5G encrypts more of their data, however, that being said they will still be using old networks. In addition, will the added speed and quantity of data being processed make it harder for security monitoring? Again, we will have to wait and see.

When will 5G be available?

It is available now, back on May 30th, 2019 EE introduced 5G and then was followed shortly after by the other main cellular networks. 5G is now available in most major UK areas. One of the main pitfalls that is slowing down the progress is the limited operating area of a 5G cell, as well as being easily blocked by trees or buildings. Added to this, the cost element is huge, requiring massive investment.

How will 5G affect the industry as a whole and web design?

At ID Studio we do not agree that you should bloat a website just because some people now have access to much faster download speeds. Web designers will still need to take into consideration users with lower connection speeds, not everyone is going to be on 5G. A lot of people are still stuck with 3G, some also have to pay for what they download. Additionally, not only will users have to commit and join 5G, smaller towns and secluded areas often take longer for the towers to be built in and provide them with coverage. So please note, ID Studio is not advocating bulking up websites for the sake of it, we are just providing examples of how it can be utilised.

  • Remote working – The ability to upload, download and share files will be vastly improved and so much quicker. This is especially beneficial to the web design industry that often has large uncompressed files to work with initially.
  • Videos – There will no longer be the need to worry so much about video quality and size, there is no reason why someone with 5G cannot view video in 4k. This in theory should give rise to uptake in video conferencing.
  • IoT devices – The increased speed of 5G by massively improving the infrastructure will result in a more efficient device to device communication.
  • Remote access – IT assistance will be near enough instantaneous allowing technicians to resolve issues immediately.
  • Bridging the gap – Experiences on desktop and mobile can become more aligned as people can download at much faster speeds. This will benefit all industries.
  • Experiences – Create a far more immersive and interactive experiences for your users, including 3D.
  • Low latency benefits (minimal delay in processing action) – xxx
  • Networking Slicing – This allows for the building of systems that can provide connectivity with regards to specific needs. 

Businesses need to be prepared and invest if they want to fully utilise 5G. Networks and hardware will need to be analysed by professionals to see if it can cope with this new technology. At ID Studio we are excited about the opportunities 5G will offer, although, this must not detract from building optimised websites with professional and efficient coding.