What does 5G mean for your website?7 minute read
Whilst 3G led to the launch of smartphones, 4G dramatically sped up browsing while we’re on the move (we won’t delve into the 1 and 2G mists of time).
But they’re now making way for their superfast fifth generation cousin 5G, which is set to revolutionise wireless technology, so much so it’s dubbed as being life changing.
But how? And what will that mean for your website and its audiences?
Fear not, we’re here to explain.
We’ll also be looking into what you need to do as a business or organisation to stay ahead of the game and truly embrace the rich rewards and opportunities 5G will bring when its fully rolled out UK wide – currently on track for May 2022.
All of the major networks such as EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have already launched 5G in a number of towns and cities following its arrival in May 2019 and are now offering 5G contract plans and handsets.
The current catch is you’ll only benefit from those lightening speeds if you’re in one of those designated areas.
What is 5G?
Basically – although there’s nothing basic about it – it’s the next generation of mobile internet connection offering much faster data download and upload speeds, reportedly up to 20 times faster.
3G and 4G will still exist but 5G will be the icing on the internet cake.
But it’s not just about speed, size also matters!
It will enable greater capacity meaning thousands of devices within a small area can be connected to the internet at the same time.
Imagine, no more pixelated work colleagues during virtual meetings, glitch-free videos and latency, the delay between a user request and the time it takes a wireless device to complete that action will almost certainly be a thing of the past.
It also opens up the exciting potential of endless and even currently unthought of possibilities when it comes to life-enhancing innovation.
According to Ofcom, the communications service regulator which is working with the government and industry to help the UK take the global lead in 5G, many sectors are already benefiting.
In small pockets of the UK, it’s already helping social care services in a number of ways including connecting patients and families via virtual reality. It’s allowing pharmacists to remotely video link to patients to check they’re taking their medication and saving resources and improving efficiency in farming.
It’s also set to have a big impact on many aspects of healthcare including a trial of 5G technology ‘smart ambulances’ which connect paramedics to hospital staff to help treat emergency patients.
It could enable search and rescue operations to be carried out with the large-scale assistance of drones and it’s thought 5G will be vital to the future of driverless cars and in creating smart cities.
What does 5G mean for your website?
Now the 5G infrastructure is well on its way, it’s important to understand what it signals for you, not just in the near-future but also the here and now – the transitional period leading up to full roll out.
The major changes in network and devices will have a knock-on effect on websites for the better, making the current gap between PC and mobile content pretty much non-existent.
5G’s faster speeds will be the perfect platform to support video and audio rich content, vastly enhancing the user experience.
Coupled with stable connections and even wider coverage it will be easier to stay connected, drawing in more and more people to your website via mobile devices.
Mobile apps will be much easier to develop, giving them increased features and functionality to again upgrade user experience, even for those in dense and remote areas.
What opportunities does this present for web development?
It’s an exciting time for web development and fortunately it will be these website architects taking the strain when it comes to implementing all the exciting 5G tools at their disposal.
But it’s down to brands, businesses and organisations to recognise, drive and initiate the next steps that will catapult their websites into the next generation of technology – it will be a market competitor differentiator for many.
The first revolutionary ‘challenge’ facing web developers is the interim period of 5G.
While some areas in the UK are not yet covered by the upgrade – and not everyone has a 5G compatible device – it will mean a hybrid juggle between 5G and 4G – and 3G for some parts of the world.
The solution is to be prepared.
While the majority of efforts will still focus on 4G technology, at Cornerstone we’ll ultimately be embracing everything that 5G has to offer, introducing optional content such as 4K videos and 5G web design elements gradually in the months ahead.
Our full stack web developer, Jonatha, said: “We anticipate more and more of our clients will be looking to make edits to their websites, add new features or even launch new sites as 5G becomes the dominate force in the near future.
“While some areas aren’t yet covered by 5G and 5G mobile devices are still being rolled out, when Apple 5G standardised their entire iPhone 12 range last year it sold more in three months than any company has ever sold in a single quarter so it shows the demand is there and that it will happen quickly.
“There’s no doubt video will become an essential part of websites of the future. They say a picture tells a thousand words, well a video probably tells a thousand pictures and with the fast and almost instant download and streaming capabilities of 5G, the less patient users will become. That means websites need to be fast and well coded, something to definitely bear in mind in the coming months.
“Videos aren’t limited to video players on a page either, they can be used in a number of ways including as background and banners, so it really does open up the possibilities to create exciting and engaging sites.
“Another thing to bear in mind is that more people now browse on their phone compared to desktops so having an aesthetically pleasing, well designed and mobile responsive website will be vital.
“Having a constant web presence and reliable hosting should also be a priority.”
How can you use the benefits of 5G on your website?
As video rich content will be key for the emerging 5G audience, investment in this area will be essential.
Superfast speeds will eliminate slow-down and glitching, instead presenting opportunities for brands and businesses to engage and convert more users than ever before.
5G is set to see off the user experience difference between PC and mobile content, optimising websites to cater for customers on the go much more easily.
It’s also expected to fuel on-site demand for AR and VR customer experiences.
This has already begun to some extent but with advances in technology we’re now seeing an increase in the use of 3D videos placed into websites and AR apps on product pages opening up the opportunities to create immersive user experiences.
5G also brings a host of security capabilities thanks to increased bandwidth which will make it easier to reliably handle sensitive data.
All these benefits point to one thing: a huge, anticipated surge in the number of users browsing online via their mobile devices.
So now is the time to think ahead to ensure your website is mobile web design friendly, bursting with UX crowd-pleasers and highly functioning on all levels, especially when it comes e-commerce systems.
With the right knowledge you’ll be able to prepare for a formidable 5G future, one that not only looks like changing the world but can also transform your business too.
If you’d like to speak to our expert team about super-charging your website for a fast and furious 5G future, get in touch with us today by calling 0161 213 9941 or emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gill has been a journalist for way longer than she cares – or dares to remember. Formerly a news reporter, feature writer and beauty columnist working for newspapers across Greater Manchester, the switch flicked, the light came on and she headed straight for PR. Gill works across a number of sectors including health, pharma, leisure […]Find out more about us