Mobile device owners in the UK are approximately consuming 20 million Gigabytes of data each month since earlier this year, which doubled last year’s data usage 9 million Gb, according to UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom. Minding the growing data needs of mobile users in the country, the agency said it is open to support the release of spectrum that would cater more demanding mobile services in the future.
Sooner or later, 4G spectrums would become congested and the only option available for telcos to serve their customers better is to build another environment, thus, 5G will soon become a reality. It might be too early for now but analysts believe the congestion rate in the 4G environment may be faster than that of the 3G because technology is evolving so fast especially in the mobile sector.
This year marks the start of the era where quad-core processors are put into mobile phones. It is expected that next year, another technology would be used to make devices even faster in terms of data processing. While almost every service inside mobile phones needs internet connectivity, network infrastructures should evolve just as fast to keep up with the demands.
Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: “Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G. However, that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G,” according to a report from Phys.org.
Majority of mobile users are into social networking but there is also a big percentage of that crowd who are into streaming and downloading videos and audios. Technology analysts predicted that in the next few years, mobile devices would function as a full-blown computer; meaning, a significant increase in data usage may happen within a 5-year time range and the demand may grow 7 times higher than today’s trend.
Ofcom’s plan in supporting 5G services is to free the 700MHz frequency band currently used by digital terrestrial television (DTT). This is where mobile spectrum for 5G will come from. Spectrum drawn from 700MHz band is said to support 5G services without the need of a switchover or “a migration” as other put it.
The UK is still in the process of migrating its 3G infrastructure to 4G and just in October, 11 cities were blessed to have acquired 4G mobile services.
In the United State, 5G technology is still in its very early development stage. It is expected that in a year or two, people would start hearing about its status and perhaps an estimate when it would be rolled out will be provided.