It’s that time again. Just as 4G technology has become mainstream in many countries, the world of IT is looking towards the possibilities of 5G technology. Like every revision of wireless broadband and telephony technology, bold predictions are being made about how it will change the way people use their mobile devices and potentially spend the end of fixed wire internet connections. In this article, we’ll take a look at what 5G technology could mean for major telecoms providers and the consumers that use them.

Anyone who remembers the excitement around 3G technology during the dot com bubble could be forgiven for treating the excitement around 5G technology with a healthy amount of scepticism. Indeed, this was the case when 4G technology was first introduced. However, in an ironic twist, 4G has probably made more of a difference to the way people use their mobile devices than 3G ever did. This is largely because 4G technology offers mobile connections of a similar speed to fixed broadband connections in homes and offices. 5G promises to be the next step.

Crucially 5G may spell the end of a number of traditional ways of distributing content, such as terrestrial and satellite television transmission. The ability to stream on-demand content to mobile devices quickly, efficiently and cheaply will offer a far greater range of choices to people than is currently offered by traditional broadcasters. The Netflix and Amazon Prime Video model could quickly become the norm for everyone who produces television programmes and films.

The main barrier standing in the way of this brave new world is the cost of the technology. Until it is cheap enough to be adopted by major technology corporations such as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, the 5G revolution is likely to remain something of a pipe dream. How long for is anyone’s guess.