What Does 5G Mean for Mobile App Development?

Scott Batchelor

Is 5G the new 4G? 

Yes and no. 

Whilst the purpose is the same- to bring fast and reliable internet connectivity to smart device users, the implementation is entirely new. 5G uses a different infrastructure, which strengthens mobile connectivity and improves user experience by delivering sharing speeds of up to 10 gigabits a second.

This enables developers to implement new, more demanding featuresets, ultimately allowing for more powerful applications than ever before.

How Will 5G Impact Development?

5G will enable developers to improve the user experience of applications, not only by increasing the speed of execution in existing processes, but using new features such as AR and VR to the fullest extent- allowing for applications which implement these features to stay operational without a stable wifi connection.

In addition, the high-speed-low-latency connection 5G provides allows for integrated video, images and games to load faster, creating more immersive user experiences. This helps to ensure you retain users and long-term popularity. 

5G will also allow developers to integrate other technologies more effectively. For example, the app market will likely see a rise in cloud-based applications, with data being stored remotely. This will decrease the amount of data users need to store on their device, and will work to close the gap of limitations between devices processing power and hardware.

Lower Latency

Delays are a cause for concern when developing mobile applications. Interruptions such as buffering or downloading can drastically impact your user experience, bringing drop-offs in user attentiveness and in some cases even causing the application to fail. 

Current 4G technologies have an average latency of 50 milliseconds. 5G cuts this to just 1 millisecond, bringing a drastic improvement to the speed of mobile applications. This enables businesses to create more intricate products and update existing applications to expand their current offering. 

Increased Connection Density

Connection density refers to the network’s ability to deliver several messages in highly populated areas. Currently, 4G allows roughly 2,000 connected devices per 0.38 square miles- with connections slowing and beginning to fail when this number is exceeded. 

5G addresses this by increasing the number of devices to 1 million, future proofing the mobile application market at a time where more portable smart devices than ever rely on cellular. 

How Will 5G Impact My Business?

Through the affordances of 5G technology, businesses will be able to leverage new features and improve existing products to ensure that their mobile application meets the changing demands of consumers worldwide. 

Whilst 5G hasn’t become the standard yet, it undoubtedly will within the next few years, as 4G begins to show the burden of being overloaded with users. As network speeds begin to fluctuate throughout the day (based on the amount of user connections), the existing systems in place will suffer extensive drops in service and eventually become obsolete.

Lower latency, increased connection density and higher density transfer speeds also translate to increased user retention and app revenues in the coming years. Paying attention to 5G developments at this stage and considering early optimisation will ultimately future-proof your digital presence, allowing you take full advantage of the benefits of 5G.

Thinking of creating or updating a mobile application? Contact our team today.

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