In one way or another, the internet has fundamentally changed the way we live; whether it’s in our schools, our jobs, or in our homes, the internet has become as essential and as ubiquitous as electricity.
By putting a near infinite amount of knowledge at our fingertips, the internet empowers us to get more done in a shorter period of time—all while keeping us connected with our friends, family, and favorite pop culture icons through social media.
Amazing as it is, the internet is about to undergo a major upgrade in raw speed, availability, and capability. We are, of course, talking about 5G networks, and it’s a huge leap from the limitations imposed by current 4G LTE standards.
How big of an upgrade will 5G be? In just a few short years, we will have in our possession mobile devices capable of achieving download speeds more than 50 times faster than what they are now.
This increase in speed will cause a paradigm shift in the way we experience the internet: latency and poor connection quality will be a thing of the past, and the internet will be more “real time” than ever before.
This level of connectivity will open the door for a whole host of new internet-based services, like self-driving cars, mixed reality computing devices, and drone delivery services.
It’s definitely an exciting time for the internet, and to make 5G easier to understand, this article will break down what exactly 5G internet is, what effects it will have on Australia, and how 5G will present unique opportunities for property owners looking to discover new revenue streams.
What is 5G Internet?
Mobile speeds are broken down by generation, and the “G” in 5G means that we are now entering the fifth generation of mobile connectivity.
However, 5G technology is still in development, along with the standards by which these technologies are defined.
There are a few rules already in place for 5G standards, and according to the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), 5G must accomplish the following:
• One to 10Gbps connections to endpoints in the field
• One millisecond end-to-end round-trip delay
• 1000x bandwidth per unit area
• 10 to 100x number of connected devices
• (Perception of) 99.999 percent availability
• (Perception of) 100 percent coverage
• 90 percent reduction in network energy usage
• Up to ten-year battery life for low power, machine-type devices
Although many companies are currently duking it out over what 5G standards should be, one thing remains absolutely clear: 5G mobile connectivity will be exponentially faster than current 4G LTE networks.
How fast is 5G?
As it stands now, 4G LTE is capable of transfer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, which is plenty fast for most users; however, it is unfortunately the case that most mobile users don’t get anywhere close to this upper threshold in terms of data transfers.
On the other hand, 5G network speed can achieve transfer rates of up to 10 gigabits a second, meaning that a multi-gigabyte, full HD movie could be downloaded in a matter of seconds, as opposed to a whole hour on a standard 4G LTE connection.
How Does 5G Work?
Wireless connections essentially operate like two-way radios, and like two-way radios, they operate on a spectrum of radio frequencies, with each new generation typically occupying a higher frequency than the previous.
For example, 4G LTE connections currently occupy a frequency range of up to 20 MHz; however, 5G will likely go all the way up to 6 GHz.
At this frequency, 5G doesn’t have to compete with other mobile technologies, like 4G or 3G, and data can be transferred at an enormously faster rate.
However, the drawback of these higher frequency bands is that the signal doesn’t travel as far, meaning that for a 5G network to work, it will need substantially more antennas for relaying the signal between devices.
The Need for Speed
Although the internet permeates through nearly every nook and cranny of our world, we are still only in the beginning stages of a truly connected, “mobile first” world, though, there are signs all around us that the future is fast approaching.
Be it a smartwatch that keeps us up to date with breaking news, or a Bluetooth dog food scooper that automatically delivers a new bag of food to your front door when supply becomes low, the number of internet-ready device hitting the market is growing faster than anyone can possibly measure.
However, as more internet ready devices come online, current networks run the risk of becoming overloaded, resulting in poor network performance for everyone connected.
Without a stable and robust network, companies will be unable to keep creating new and exciting internet ready devices because there will simply not be enough bandwidth to support them.
5G technology looks to solve all of these issues by creating a flexible network with nearly limitless bandwidth potential.
Once in place, 5G networks will allow internet ready devices to send and receive data with zero delays.
This latency free dynamic will usher in a new wave of powerful, real-world applications, like self-driving cars, drone delivery services, and exciting new augmented reality experiences.
5G’s biggest societal impact will likely come in the shape of self-driving cars.
Although car manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure their vehicles are relatively safe, 1,290 Australians still lost their lives in 2016 due to traffic collisions.
Many of these collisions come at the fault the driver, because, let’s face it, human beings make mistakes, and when these mistakes are made from behind the wheel of a 3 thousand pound vehicle, somebody is likely to get hurt.
Self-driving cars bring the promise of safer roads by eliminating the need for a human driver. While having an automated system drive you around may sound scary at first, when you examine the technology behind these autonomous systems, there may truly be no safer way to get around town.
Self-driving cars are essentially a combination of hardware and software. On the hardware side of things, self-driving cars are equipped with all sorts of cameras and sensors that measure things like location, speed, and the position of other surrounding vehicles.
The software powering the car then compiles this data to make automated decisions about its current route and how to handle any unexpected dangers.
For example, with a fast and reliable 5G network, a road filled with nothing but self-driving cars will be able to seamlessly communicate with one another, resulting in both traffic jams and traffic collisions becoming less frequent, and hopefully, obsolete.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before self-driving cars can become fully integrated into our streets; however, with 5G bandwidth capabilities, we are one step closer to the promise of safer travel.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
For many years now, the vast majority of us have relied upon traditional input/output devices like keyboards, mice, and monitors to accomplish the vast majority of our tasks.
However, all of this may soon change with augmented and virtual reality. Take, for example, recent efforts by companies like Microsoft and their augmented reality platform known as “HoloLens”.
HoloLens is an augmented or “mixed” reality device that takes the shape of a visor that sits atop of the user’s head. Through the visor’s lens, the user can not only see 3D objects rendered in space, but they can also interact with these objects in real-time.
Microsoft showcased some use-case scenarios of this technology, where users manipulated 3D application windows on the walls of their homes using gestures and voice, and these application windows were used to display all kinds of different content, like YouTube or Gmail.
In another demo, a HoloLens user was getting help with a sink repair from a parent in real-time through an advanced version of screen sharing. Because the visor has built-in cameras and is connected to the internet, the parent can essentially see what their child sees, and, because the visor can display digital objects in space, the parent can draw instructions straight onto the visor’s “screen” from a remote location, helping make the sink repair easier and more straightforward.
These sorts of interactions are going to become more commonplace in the future; however, these applications require a fast and reliable network capable of keeping latency to an absolute minimum.
Drones have been in the headlines a lot these days because of regulatory issues, but once these issues are worked out, drones will have an important role to play in our technology-focused society.
One of the primary ways drones will impact our day to day lives will be with deliveries.
E-commerce is growing faster every year, and manufacturers and traditional delivery services (i.e., package cars) are barely keeping pace with consumer demand. However, 5G brings the promise of empowering autonomous drone delivery systems that can bring online merchandise straight to your doorstep in as little as 30 mins.
As of right now, there is a bevy of different companies who are ramping up for these future delivery systems (e.g., Amazon, Matternet, Nvidia, etc.), and soon, drones might be delivering everything from medical supplies to pizza across Australia.
5G’s Limitations Creates Opportunities for Landowners
As mentioned, 5G is not without its downfalls: 5G networks will require substantially more antennas than 4G LTE networks, which means that in addition to the battles taking place over 5G standards, cellular developers will have to drastically expand their deployment of small cells.
This causes a problem, especially for tightly congested urban areas where space is already limited because developers will not be able to simply place new antennas wherever they please.
Instead, cellular developers will need to either purchase or lease property from landowners for these new cellular installations.
This presents a unique opportunity for many landowners across Australia, as cell tower leases, especially rooftop leases, can be extremely valuable over the long-term. Cell leases can often provide landowners with thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra annual income, and depending on the location, multiple cell installations may be required.
LDC Infrastructure’s Role
If you are a property owner who has entered into a cell tower lease with a developer, we may be able to turn your lease into a large lump sum cash payout.
LDC Infrastructure is one of Australia’s leading land lease and rental rights acquisition companies, and we can help you achieve greater financial security.
Instead of receiving small, incremental rental payments on a monthly basis, LDC Infrastructure can offer you the entire value of your cellular lease today, providing you the flexibility to retire early, invest in a new business venture, or even purchase more property.
Contact Us Today
Even if you’re not interested in selling your lease, doesn’t it make sense to have a clear understanding of what your cellular lease is worth? If your site meets our criteria, we can provide you with a no-obligation analysis and valuation.
Please call us at 1300 149 499 or click here to submit your information online so that we may contact you.