The major mobile networks have now rolled out 5G to more than 100 cities across the UK. But what all the fuss is about and what the benefits are of this new technology?

5G has generated many passionate debates and it is no surprise. From the telegraph to the internet, all ground-breaking telecom technologies came with a degree heat. 5G can be added to that list of revolutionary technologies. Here is why... 

The benefits of 5G? 

We hear a lot about how its speeds far exceed 4G. However, 5G is about much more than just pure speed - it has the potential to transform our current relationship to the internet by unlocking new exciting experiences for businesses and consumers. 

There are three major benefits to 5G: 


Also known as bandwidth, speed is how fast data moves through the internet. It is the amount of data that can be transferred per second (measured in Mbps or Gbps). 

Depending on the source, you can find that 5G is anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. 

Great speed in transmission means that a large amount of data will be available instantly democratising the usage of data-intensive applications such as: 

  • Cloud-based applications  
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)  
  • Virtual Reality (VR)  

This should unlock huge potentials for customer experience and eCommerce. For instance, it may facilitate the online buying process for products that usually include a real-life experience. With VR, you could virtually see a 3D sofa, for example, from every angle and even visualise it in your living room without having to step foot in a physical showroom. 

Low latency  

Latency is the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction measured in milliseconds. For example, it is the time for a web page to show up after you click on a link. 

With 4G networks, the average latency is around 50ms. That could drop to 1ms with 5G technology (as a comparison, it takes at least 10ms for an image seen by the human eye to be processed by the brain). 

Low latency will allow performing remote actions in real-time and is one of the necessary conditions for the fulfilment of massive IoT deployments. 

It will enable: 

  • Remote maintenance of equipment in the field, allowing users to perform actions in places that are not easily accessible 
  • Accurate monitoring of workforces and operations 
  • Real-time communication between IoT devices across a business. 

It will make technologies possible that are long overdue, such as; autonomous cars, remote surgery or holographic communication giving interlocutors (who could be thousands of miles apart), the impression of being in the same room. 

High-capacity connectivity 

Currently, a large number of devices connected to the network at the same time can result in a drop in the available bandwidth on 4G. 

5G offers greater capacity, allowing thousands of devices in a small area to connect at the same time with the same broadband quality.  

This should be marking the beginning of smart cities, all-connected cities that promise to improve many aspects of our urban lives from more effective travel to reduced air pollution. 

When will we see those changes? 

We can already witness some application of 5G in action. O2, who have been rolling out their 5G network since October last year, has already allowed some ground-breaking projects to see the light of the day. 

O2 5G has enabled Northumbrian Water Group's experienced technicians to remotely guide on-the-ground teams through complex tasks by using real-time data and augmented reality (AR) technology. 

O2 launched the first commercial laboratory for 5G and satellite communications in the UK. The laboratory is now open to companies looking to test proofs of concept for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) using both 5G and satellite communications. 

O2 has been working with the NHS to deliver a pilot trial of a fully connected 5G powered clinic-on-wheels, to track COVID-19 at six care homes in Glasgow. 

5G needs more than just network availability… 

5G is not just about the network: to be able to deliver its superior speeds it also needs 5G enabled devices. All the major handset manufacturers have now entered the competition for the 5G market and released their 5G handsets. One of the latest ones, and probably the most scrutinised, is the iPhone 12 range from Apple which will, according to many specialists, mark the beginning of the mainstream adoption for 5G. 

To discuss 5G plans and 5G enabled handset including the iPhone 12 range, please contact us on 03456 200 200 or