1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G! What does this mean for apps?

What are these ‘G’ things?

‘G’ stands for Generation of the mobile network. As improvements are made and a new generation is rolled out, the number increases.

What is the difference between 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5?

A higher number means faster speed, newer technology and improved efficiency, with more data (information) being able to be transferred across the wireless network in a shorter period of time.

In summary:

  • 1G – Original analogue phones with calls only
  • 2G – Text messages able to be sent
  • 3G – Mobile Data transfer introduced
  • 4G – Mobile Data is the focus

When is 5G coming to Australia?

Currently most areas of Australia have either 3G or 4G. It is expected 5G will be available in Australia in 2020. There is still a lot of testing to do to make sure it is reliable and how it will affect things like the battery life of your mobile phone.

What will it mean for apps?

5G will reduce latency (the time taken for the internet to recognise a command, i.e. from your app), by up to 60x faster. This will allow for a lot more things to happen, seemingly at once. Your apps will be lightening faster. For example, an entire film will be able to be downloaded in less than a minute. Updating databases will seem instantaneous.

5G will also open up the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). The IoT is the network of physical devices, such as home appliances, vehicles, etc. and how they interact with electronics and software, including apps, sensors and connectivity with these physical devices.

What’s next?

With 5G still a few years away it will be a while before 6G (or by then it could be called something else) is a reality. Who knows what 6G will look like, technology is moving so fast. Maybe virtual innovations such as holograms will become our everyday norm.

 

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