What is 5G and why is location important?

5G is the upcoming ‘fifth generation’ of mobile network technology. While it will follow in the footsteps of 4G, the tech will be very different.

Mobile networks were originally set up to deal just with telephone calls. Today, they need far more capacity to carry the increasing volume of traffic as people access the Internet and download data.

The networks are currently groaning under exploding demand, and at times, your mobile can struggle with data uploads and downloads. The challenge for network providers is to deliver high-quality high-capacity coverage everywhere, and at any time.

5G will rely on many more high frequency bands, where signals can only travel much shorter distances. For this to be effective, access points will need to be placed only a few hundred metres apart – instead of 4G’s several kilometres.

Suddenly, the exact location of every lamp-post fitted with an access point could be important if you’re not to lose your connection: Even more so if that connection is powering a driverless car.

For 5G to work, location is vital. Connectivity will all depend on placing access points correctly; knowing what’s physically in the way of signals, and where you are in relation to them.

OS will have a big part to play in the 5G rollout and beyond. We’ll deliver up-to-date location information with pinpoint accuracy to ultimately help improve coverage and connectivity for everybody.