I made this post this morning, and I'd like to make a followup:

I'd like to ask people here if anyone know of a good use-case for 5G. Something that would be an actual, measurable improvement compared to today.

So far I have only heard a single one, and that is that supposedly latency will be much better, making online gaming possible. What kind of latency can I expect to see?

Other than the ability to play fortnite on mobile (which, as far as I understand, people already do?), in what way is 5G actually going to be real gamechanger on the level of what marketing is claiming it will be?



Well, the overall plus is that is allows for more devices to be connected since both latency and speed is vastly improved. And since IOT is actually now starting to be a thing it will actually be needed.


Nice poll!
Re online games: for a while, a friend has been playing online FPS and other games on a 4G connection (on PC) while streaming at the same time. Of course this is not fiber optic and could be better with 5G, but it is already possible :)

@loke @joacim I think everything after HSPA got less exciting with each generation. But 5G has some major things going for it. For end users, the big ones are handling congestion reasonably, and ping times. Anything synchronous should be an order of magnitude better with wifi-like ping times.

The backend will also be much improved. Using 5G as the last leg of the backbone should make good mobile connections massively more accessible.

@tfb @loke I own a 5G phone right now (OnePlus Nord) and have never been even close to 5G coverage so I'm looking forward to that and to be able to test it properly (and most likely turn it off once testing is concluded).

@loke 5G, I think, is better suited for IoT things out in the bush where you don't have access to fiber but have sufficient coverage. Low latency and high speed, yes, but the power consumption makes me think these are better uses for 5G than a mobile phone.

@joacim does 5G have lower power consumption? The post that started all of this suggests the opposite.

@joacim then I don't really see the IoT angle. I can't think of many IoT usecases that needs low latency. But perhaps I'm not considering some category if devices

@loke That was part of my thought about the whole thing (granted, I didn't actually finish that thought): for the IoT in the bush scenario to work you need tons of coverage since 5G doesn't really work well over longer distances. If you have power to drive a 5G device, that solves the power issue but I can't see which, if any, carrier that will plaster the entire world with 5G antennas everywhere. It doesn't scale financially.

@loke @joacim
Funny, me a while ago:
"To me it seems (mostly) like a 'solution' in search of a problem."


@loke @joacim The thing about advances like this is that it can be very hard to predict the use cases in advance. One big change that could come with 5G is the disappearance of home/wired Internet. Buildings will have internal repeaters, but they won't be a separate network.

5G also allows extremely precise localization, which could enable ubiquitous AR like in Rainbows End.

Supposedly it will enable networks of self-driving cars to keep in constant contact with each other in order to provide realtime, highly accurate metrics on traffic, accidents etc. Of course, then you need to question who owns those networks...

@syntax @joacim I've heard that argument before, but I don't understand it. I was about to mention this in my original post, and I probably should have, since it touches on one of my main issues with the benefits that are often raised.

The way I see it, for the self-driving car scenario to become reality, you'd have to either blanket the road networks with 5G towers (not going to happen outside countries like Monaco, I think?), or your are going to need a fallback when there is no no coverage. And if you have a working fallback, then where is the benefit of 5G?

One speculative use I've heard of is remote surgery - if latency is low enough specialist surgeons could operate remotely.

I know someone who works in telecoms and from what I've gathered the current 5G is still kind of based on 4G/LTE stuff, so performance is quite a bit less than what 5G was intended to be.

But yeah, I don't think it's really needed. Better to concentrate on widening access to existing network technologies, but... capitalism, I guess.

@govynnus @joacim That is indeed a speculative use-case. I'm not saying it's meritless, but I do feel it's somewhat stretching it. I think there are so many barriers for this vision to become reality and the last-kms access to low-latency Internet seems to be rather minor compared to those.

There are interesting features that were introduced with 5G nets, such as beam shaping, and the antenna consumption per Gb is lower.
However, modem consumption on the phone is reportedly (much) higher.
For phones I see little to no benefits (unless it is true that 4G traffic is getting saturated, which I still doubt).
So "benefits" would be the two new standards for IoT and transportation (SDC, etc).
But by and large, telecom people just hope new tech will create new needs.

@loke @joacim

First iterations are always more exciting. Just like with the first iOS/Android devices or first laptops. Don't care about 5G myself as well :)

That being said 5G gives you WIFI-like latency, so it's a godsend for everybody that needs "fiber-quality" Internet but does not have a good ISP nearby.

Or play competitive games when traveling.

Or like to video-chat without this weird latency-lag that makes soft, polite joining into coversation almost impossible

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