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How is the digital industry preparing for 5G rollout?

26/08/2021

As 5G continues to roll out across the UK and the wider world, the new data speeds and infrastructure it brings is starting to be utilised to deliver new and increasingly rich digital experiences to users. Much like its predecessors in 3G and 4G, the 5G rollout is bringing significantly faster download speeds, lower latency, and higher overall user loads.

For the digital industry, it means that data-hungry features and technology, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), can be more reliably deployed in websites and apps because users will be increasingly able to engage with them outside of the home environment, where broadband speeds have historically offered the fastest speeds. Live events, such as music concerts and competitive sports are likely to increasingly integrate with AR and VR technology to offer additional dimensions to the live experiences via your smartphone. 

The web industry will also significantly benefit since speed and flow are so critical to good User Experience (UX) and especially to e-commerce journeys, these new technologies can be increasingly relied upon to offer more interactive browsing experiences, such as virtual shops with interactive 3D products for users to explore. 5G also offers the opportunity to use high-resolution images and video with fewer performance concerns. Rather than show off just one angle of a product, interactive 3D visualisations can deliver hundreds of images to allow a user to spin and rotate something smoothly to get a better feel for it. Over the next few years, as usage of 5G grows, expect to come across increasingly creative and immersive online experiences.

Despite improving availability, 5G still needs to be thought of as a fairly new technology, and digital products need to be developed with the expectation that significant numbers of users will still be on 3G and 4G connections for some time yet. 5G is currently mostly confined to cities and larger towns, whilst many older smartphones are also not yet compatible with the 5G network, meaning consumers will need to upgrade their devices to enjoy the technology. For international digital products, it's worth remembering that some places in the world have only recently received 3G connectivity, so ensuring your content is still accessible for users on older technologies is still important.

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