Fast speeds and low latency will change the industry
The next generation 5G wireless network technology has finally begun to roll out across the world. While the shift from 3G to 4G was minor for technology, the transition from 4G and 5G represents a quantum leap in the telecommunications environment.
The fifth generation mobile network technology is expected to be a significant breakthrough that will change our lives radically. It will expand on the existing opportunities created by 4G — It will not only improve the quality of mobile communications, but also the mobile app development market.
5G is going to be lightning fast. Some estimates point to speeds as much as 100 times that of 4G as attainable — more than enough to process and transfer data in the blink of an eye.
Apart from speed, this revolutionary technology promises to cut latency to near zero and increase connection density. To keep up with this new-generation wireless technology, app developers have to tweak their app development approaches to enable their software to function as desired.
This is good news for both developers and consumers, as the potential for limitless applications is quite high. Apps that seemed too heavy and slow for 4G connections will experience smoother processing with 5G. This will encourage developers to raise the bar, which can only result in more satisfied consumers.
Let’s explore the impact of 5G in the app development industry.
Meaning of 5G for app developers
5G will usher in a new world of interconnected, always-active devices that share data in real-time and enjoy new standards of connection speed and reliability. Multimedia experiences such as online gaming and 4K streaming are expected to get an instant makeover, following the 5G rollout. Advanced and high-risk technologies like autonomous cars and remote control surgery may take time to fully develop, but their possibilities are even more immediate with 5G around the corner.
According to 3GPP, a collaborative group of telecommunications standard associations, 5G should deliver the following advantages:
- Low to zero latency
Mobile app users often feel annoyed with apps that take longer to download and function. The latency could be troublesome, especially if you are controlling machines and making critical decisions in real-time. This is quite common with today’s 4G, limiting app capabilities and causing developers to create apps that are extremely light which may lack some functionality.
With 5G, on the other hand, mobile apps will take nanoseconds to respond to the users’ actions. Quick-loading websites and apps will be common. Speed aside, 5G’s low latency will result in huge benefits for other technology that are in the works– expect highly-responsive virtual reality, remote surgery, and connected autonomous cars.
- Faster file transfer
The powerful 490Mbps (Megabytes per second) browsing speed and 100Mbps download speed enable speedier file transfer. 5G is going to advance many mobile app categories used by business models built around the transfer of data or money from one account to another.
- Improved user experience
With 5G, we can also expect enhanced user experience. Remember the difference in streaming when networks were upgraded from 2G to 3G, and also to 4G. Those differences, albeit great, were incremental when compared to the expected enhancements of 5G — a network that’s capable of speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.
5G will impact app development in the following industries
The fifth generation mobile network will unleash several revenue opportunities – nearly $12.3 Trillion globally – across most industries. It is expected to introduce millions of jobs globally, with app developers being the core career groups who stand to benefit.
A recent survey by Gartner found that 57% of respondents think IoT (Internet of Things) is the most promising 5G niche. It will allow app developers to work in IoT areas where a difference between 4 milliseconds and 40 milliseconds is crucial.
With IoT discussions comes Smart Cities developments. With 5G becoming a reality, these IoT Smart Cities will also become a reality. Smart Cities will in turn enhance business environments, and the environment in general, with the ability to connect multiple devices, infrastructures, and more to a single mobile application. This will be a boon for those with multiple businesses — imagine being able to provide multiple services to multiple end users on multiple connected devices, all in one go.
The healthcare industry is also expected to benefit. 5G wireless technology will make once-impossible healthcare feats — such as remote patient monitoring, remote surgery, etc. — actual possibilities. Wearable devices connected with medical apps will also be capable of provide better details of the patient’s records in real-time.
Some initial 5G challenges in the mobile app development industry
- Greater speed leads to an increased number of connected devices and networks, which creates loopholes in app security.
- 5G network speeds will mostly benefit business models that best utilize it, and so mobile app developers will have to analyze individual business needs.
- Where 4G infrastructure already are available worldwide, 5G will require a fresh-start approach to building infrastructure. Developers will have to phase in 5G apps until the technology becomes widespread.
- 5G could also divide the audience; some will have devices fit for 5G and others will still be using 3G or LTE version devices.
With several 5G-capable devices being released this year, the fifth generation technology is already here. Expect significant changes in most industries, especially for app developers. The technology simply raises a lot of limitations for the end user, and in turn will create even more room for creativity for developers. From the healthcare industry to the auto industry and beyond, 5G connectivity will satisfy the seamless, always-on, low latency requirements to make possible ideas in most industries a reality.