This article originally appeared on Mashable by Dan Gallagher.
It’s hard to imagine life without smart phones and mobile devices. But it wasn’t until 3G that smart phones began to resemble the user experience now so ingrained in our daily lives. Since then, faster network speeds have been one of key enablers of the creation and widespread use of cloud technology enabling transformative services like ride-sharing apps, HD entertainment, and video calls that have become mainstream.
While 3G and 4G powered these services, 5G represents another connectivity leap beginning this year.
It is envisioned – per ITU-R’s IMT-2020 requirements — to support blazing-fast speeds of up to 20 Gbps, low latency as low as 1 millisecond, and 100x more capacity as compared to 4G, 5G is setting the stage for immediate improvements to existing experiences as well as the development of new, yet-to-be-imagined technological advancements.
Here’s a look at the change coming:
Everything will get faster
From day 1, 5G is designed to make virtually everything faster, providing fiber-like speeds to support insatiable demand for unlimited data. You should notice improved download speeds, superior quality video streaming and virtually instant cloud access in flagship 5G devices launching in 2019. And it should be easier than ever to download your favorite binge-worthy series at the airport or deliver massive files to colleagues when you’re on the go.
Instant access to cloud
5G brings extraordinary low latency. Latency is the time between data request and its delivery. 5G is purpose-built and designed to deliver entirely new real-time experiences we’ve never had before. We expect our new smartphones, tablets, and always-connected PCs* will be able to utilize 5G’s lower latency connectivity, higher capacity, in addition to its super-fast speeds, for the next level of cloud services.
Smooth real-time multiplayer gaming
Once online/cloud gaming make it easier for multi-player collaboration, then, live-stream gameplay with rapid map and level downloads will get a boost. Think of first-person shooter game where latency can be the difference between your character’s life and death.
Transformation to the Wireless Edge
As virtually everything gets connected in this new era, realizing 5G’s full potential requires transformation of the wireless edge. An architecture of distributed intelligence where intelligence that deals with immediacy is moved toward the edge (closer to or on the devices) while processing-intensive functions are kept in the cloud. 5G is enabled with the help of Qualcomm’s foundational inventions and mobile platforms, and is engineered to provide the high-speed low-latency link that connects them together.
One great use case of 5G and edge computing is extended reality (XR). Enough processing is kept in the headset while offloading nearly everything else, including rendering, to the cloud. With your 360-degree views effortlessly synchronized with your movements, XR experience is intended to feel immediate and photorealistic. Simply put, this could transform your experience from passive watching to living the moment.
Another use case is AR shopping. This is just beyond utility, it can make the shopping experience more fun, with the ability to virtually decorate with friends or family. An experience that can allow you to see how a couch will fit in your home – try it before you buy type of experience.
What’s next can only be imagined
Qualcomm, an inventor of breakthrough technologies for wireless, is focused on enterprise