In recent news, Opensignal have confirmed that Apple 5G smartphones have seen the greatest jump in download speeds compared with 4G devices in the UK. The analysis, which was carried out across all brands, indicated that the overall speed for 5G devices is significantly higher compared with 4G models of the same brand. The increase highlights the importance of 5G technology in improving the user experience, according to the mobile analytics firm. Furthermore, Apple ahas the greatest increase in overall download speed among leading smartphone brands in Europe as a whole, ranging from 1.9 times faster in Italy for 5G compared with 4G models to 3.4 times faster in the UK.
Why 5G Matters
The 3G and 4G networks focused on connectivity via personal devices, whereas 5G integrates with infrastructure, buildings, appliances, vehicles, and products to deliver unprecedented benefits for citizens across transport, healthcare, energy, commerce, and leisure. 5G networks are expected to deliver a latency (a measure of the delay in end-to-end transmission) as low as 1 millisecond. A drastic reduction compared to 4G networks at 40-60 milliseconds. The high bandwidth and speed of 5G will support services such as ultra-high-definition video streaming, large file downloads and virtual reality applications. Peak data rates are estimated at 10Gbps, allowing people to easily stream 4K and 8K videos on smartphones.
5G Coverage on O2
O2 have made great strides forwards as their 5G network now reaches over 180 towns and cities across the country. The company continued to test 5G applications with businesses and consortia including an Innovate UK project led by Skyfarer, a drone logistics operator, which aims to create a new drone network for medical transport across the UK including COVID supplies. In further news, O2 was recognised earlier in the year for its network coverage and reliability in the quarter with GWS ranking O2 as the most reliable UK network and USwitch naming O2 as the operator with the best network.
Shared Network Infrastructure
U.K. operators O2 and Vodafone have announced a new deal to trade airwaves to create more efficient blocks of 5G spectrum. This extends the partnership they already have on sharing mast infrastructure in parts of the UK.
This extension of sharing airwaves will enable improved coverage for customers – both indoor and outdoor – across urban, suburban, and rural areas. They also highlighted that large contiguous blocks support faster speeds and lower latency. The move will, subject to approval from local telecommunications services regulator Ofcom, create a contiguous block of 80 megahertz for O2, and ensure good proximity of Vodafone’s blocks totalling 90 megahertz of spectrum. A representative from O2 said “This year O2 is investing more than ever in its network to improve coverage and experience. Securing contiguous blocks of spectrum is crucial to harnessing the true power of 5G – we will have the strongest indoor and outdoor connectivity and an ultra-reliable frequency.”
In the UK’s most recent spectrum auction, O2 secured 2×10 megahertz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £280 million ($390 million); and 40 megahertz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a cost of £168 million. Meanwhile, Vodafone committed to pay £176.4 million for 40 megahertz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. When it comes to devices, in the UK, Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the top-30 rankings in terms of overall download speeds for 5G, with all four of Apple’s iPhone 12 range featuring in the popular 5G line up.