5G: how the new mobile network standard is shaping gaming
5G is coming. Want to know ow it works, why it can change the way you're using your Shadow? Come over here!
The fifth-generation mobile network is almost upon us. And just like 4G before it, 5G is set to revolutionise the way we interact with our mobile devices and usher in exciting new technologies. But what possibilities will 5G present, and how will it affect you?
What is 5G?
5G is both an evolution and a complement to 4G. It gathers a certain number of technologies and methods that will be used by telecom companies to improve the speed and quality of their networks.
Among them is the integration of millimetre waves, powerful but effective only at short range. The expansion of the network thanks to 4G will therefore be carried out in parallel with the installation of a network of small local cells in the densest areas: the latter will serve as a support for millimetre waves, which will make it possible to increase the connection speed and considerably reduce latency.
5G promises to be considerably faster and more stable than 4G, that will keep offering wider coverage for users. The new network standard will also enable more devices to access mobile internet at the same time, as it makes better use of the mobile spectrum.
With 5G, it’s possible to get incredibly fast download speeds and almost imperceptible latency. Download speeds can reach up to 10 to 20 times that of current 4G LTE, and latency is set to be reduced from up to 50 milliseconds to one millisecond.
This massive speed increase means you’ll soon be able to download a full HD movie in less than a minute, and low latency will play a crucial role in the effectiveness and viability of autonomous vehicles.
What challenges does 5G face?
As with any new technology, 5G faces a number of obstacles to overcome before it’s ready for the public. Due to the higher frequency bands in use, 5G’s impressive bandwidth is hampered by a shorter range, which can be weakened further if it’s blocked by physical objects. Thankfully a solution is in place - telecommunication companies are investing in a large amount of transmitters and receivers which will boost the density of the signal.
How will 5G benefit cloud gaming?
It’s probably the question you care most about, right? 5G has the potential to radically change the way we consume our favourite pastime (hint: that’s video games). By enabling exponentially faster download and upload speeds, cloud gaming will become an even more enticing prospect. Latency will be further reduced, providing a more native, tactile experience than ever before. Lovely stuff.
While home internet connections are capable of delivering a high-end streaming experience today (particularly if you choose Shadow *cough cough*), stepping outside of the house can make things a bit trickier. There’s nothing sweeter than gaming on the go, but 4G can often struggle to deliver a consistent experience and quickly use up your data allowance. With 5G, the extra bandwidth will make home-like streaming wherever you go a reality. And because Shadow already works with so many devices, there’ll be nothing stopping you from getting your game on.
Actually, Shadow is such a great use for 5G than smartphone manufacturers Oppo and One Plus invited us to show demos of Shadow on their new 5G mobiles at Mobile World Congress 2019 !
When will 5G be ready?
Official rollout for the high-speed network is planned for later this year in the UK, but it may take until at least 2022 until we see widespread adoption. We won’t see the first 5G enabled mobile phones until late 2019, either, with Samsung and Apple likely to lead the way. For now, you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled for the furiously-fast future of 5G.
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