The 5G Revolution: Beyond Conspiracy Theories
You may already be familiar with the word 5G from conspiracy theorists believing it to be the cause of COVID-19, which led to some naive individuals burning 5G masts due to being concerned with the potential radiation that may come from these masts.
Understanding 5G: The Technicalities
What 5G can do depends mainly on what signal the 5G runs on. There are three categories of signal bands: high band, mid band and low band. The low band frequency is what 5G will run on. Early mobile internet was seen as mobile internet with a speed slower than people's WIFI at home, 4G is nearly at par with regular WIFI. 5G however has a 100x better capacity than 4G, and in a not so distant future this will lead to even better internet speed. For example, in order to download a two hour film with 4G, it would take about 6 minutes, meanwhile with 5G it could take as little as 3.6 seconds. An additional feature that 5G will bring is that response times will be almost instantly. Smartphone users will have benefits to help them have easier and more friendly interactions with their network carrier. This new technology will provide a much more personalized web experience using a technique called network slicing. This consists of creating new wireless networks on the cloud allowing users to create their own network. In simpler words, this means that every device would have its own network in the cloud depending on the specification it has. For instance, an online console game requires faster response times and a better data capacity than a user that just wants to surf the web. This will also benefit businesses such as convention organizers who would be able to purchase bigger slices of the cloud thus improving its visitors' online experience. Overall, a much more interactive internet will be the result. Using 5G, at least in theory, cars could be driven remotely and surgeons could operate surgeries from the comfort of their own homes.
5G in the Wake of COVID-19
COVID-19 has increased the need for solid reliable 5G internet as more people now see the benefits of working remotely. Some experts predict that by 2025 nearly half of all mobile connections in the U.S. will be 5G. It is common that the west has a more gradual approach to 5G, since in the U.S. the carrier brand AT&T began installing 5G towers in 2018. In the case of industrial zones in selected cities, this technology will be adopted quickly due to their high data and internet speed requirements. In a not so distant future the time will come where 5G fulfills its potential, it will change the way we get internet at home and at work. This 5G wireless network will replace old fashioned phone lines and cables, the change may not happen overnight but 5G is coming. So what does that mean if you run a website on the internet?
Implications for Website Owners
As 5G will make connections instantly, a focus on speed will become even more important than it is in 2020. Loading times that take longer than a few seconds will likely cause your website to be ranked significantly lower. We will see an increase in headless CMS-es and people will start thinking about offloading the many plugins and software from their servers. We feel that a hosting company like [strattic](https://www.strattic.com/), which hosts the entire site on a CMS will become the new standard. Therefore, it will not hurt given that Google and other search engines are starting to put more emphasis on speed to make sure your website is as fast as it can possibly be. If you run a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress it’s a good idea to make it "headless" and place something like Gatsby or React in front of it. If someone can download an entire movie of 2 hours in less than 4 seconds, it is not very likely that they will be willing to wait more than a blink of an eye for your server to respond and provide the content that is being asked. This calls for major shifts in the way most websites were built in the last decade or so. A great tool to see your website's loading speed is, which you can use for your site.
Written by Julián Alzate