The future of 5G: from Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone 12 range to UK-wide coverage and beyond.
In October, Apple released its latest suite of widely anticipated devices: four variations of the new iPhone 12 – each supporting 5G networks – and its brand new HomePod Mini. Alongside the release of the newest iPhones, Apple has collaborated with network providers to ensure consistent 5G coverage around the world. As UK providers continue to roll out network infrastructures, experts conclude that 5G networks will soon be quicker and more reliable than the existing 4G technology throughout the UK – and the impressive coverage in major towns and cities is already beginning to prove this.
Here, Dave Antrobus, software development specialist and Technical Director at Manchester’s digital collective Inc & Co, comments on Apple’s latest models and explores the future of 5G in the UK.
Introducing 5G Coverage for Apple Devices
Over the last ten years, 4G has paved the way for Apple’s market-defining innovations and industry-leading models. A decade later, 5G now promises a magnitude of new opportunities and benefits, especially in terms of latency and penetration in densely populated areas. Thanks to this newest generation of technology, the iPhone 12 range can load up to 3.5 Gbps in areas with 5G coverage, in ideal conditions.
‘5G will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads, higher-quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity, and so much more,’ says Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive. ‘5G networks are more advanced with lower latency and less network congestion. So, you can get higher network speeds even in densely populated areas. 5G even helps to protect your privacy and security, since you won’t need to connect to unknown, unsecured public WiFi hotspots as often.’
‘5G will spearhead a new faster and more convenient way of staying connected to the internet. With improved penetration into buildings and faster speeds, you will no longer need to scramble to find a Wifi password in an office or coffee shop, just to enjoy slow speeds where you can't see your emails.’ adds Dave Antrobus.
Latency measures the time required for a signal to travel from a source to its receiver and back again. 5G has much lower latency than 4G, meaning that a phone on a 5G network will respond to a user’s actions in a fraction of the time that the same phone on a 4G network will. As 5G data transmission takes less than five milliseconds, the possibilities for developments in gaming, augmented, and virtual reality applications are now endless.
Reduced latency also supports a host of applications that leverage artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, as 5G latency is faster than human visual processing, we can now control devices remotely in near-real-time. As a result, 5G could be the key to remote surgery in the UK. The first remote operation using 5G technology took place in 2019 in Fujian, China, where a doctor removed a laboratory-test animal’s liver by remotely controlling robotic arms over a 5G connection. It’s only a matter of time before similar procedures will be possible in the UK. Looking further ahead, 5G will also inform the development of self-driving cars, fully immersive virtual-reality worlds, and new designs of hypersonic weapons.
Each wireless network generation has boasted an impressive improvement in speed, and 5G is no different. We can expect phones on 5G networks to respond up to 100 times faster than phones on 4G networks. As a result, it is now possible to download a full-length HD film in just seconds. Dave explains that as carriers continue to roll out the networks, 5G could soon become faster than most people’s internet and could replace broadband in the future. Dave has already tested this in Manchester, receiving around 300MB/s in the city centre while using his iPhone 12 Pro.
5G networks have the potential to deliver up to 1000 times more capacity than 4G networks, meaning that 5G can accommodate simultaneous use of thousands of devices in densely populated areas. With such impressive capacity, we can expect technology to become even more efficient, minimising wait times in supply chain manufacturing processes and leading to huge developments in smart home applications, such as improved security and accessible energy and water consumption measurements.
5G Bandwidth (News - Alert)
Thanks to 5G’s blend of increased speed and network capacity, these networks can transmit much larger amounts of data than 4G networks. This increased bandwidth enables 5G’s great penetration in hard-to-reach places. Even the busiest arenas, stadiums, and conference centres will now be able to offer accessible network coverage, even when filled close to capacity with smart-device users. Meanwhile, large businesses will be able to collect huge volumes of data from customers and suppliers to instantly convert into actionable knowledge and better understand consumer needs.
5G Coverage in the UK
Apple collaborates with carrier partners to deliver consistent 5G coverage around the world. These carrier partners include AT&T, AU, Bell, China Mobile (News - Alert), China Telecom, T Mobile, EE, Docomo, Orange, Softbank, T, Verizon, and Vodafone. Thanks to some of these partnerships, 5G networks have been available in some of the UK’s biggest cities since the end of May 2019. As network providers gradually expand 5G coverage, increasing numbers of users will benefit from the latest advancement in internet mobile connectivity.
Unlike 4G and previous data networks, 5G requires a higher density of masts to cover an area because its signals project over smaller geographical ranges. As the UK gradually rolls out 5G networks, the infrastructure will soon support incredibly high-speed data rates of up to 10 Gbps in more towns and cities, accommodating one-million devices for every square kilometre.
In the UK, EE currently provides the widest 5G coverage. The network provider has rolled out coverage in 112 towns and cities over the last year and will realise the full potential of 5G over the next few years, redefining the ways that we work, travel, socialise, and pay for goods and services. In particular, as the speed of wireless data transmission continues to accelerate, we will see booking systems for takeaways, accommodation, and supermarket deliveries skyrocket yet further. Doctors will be able to remotely diagnose patients. Environmental organisations will be able to accurately measure crop health, chemical levels, pest presence, air quality, and traffic patterns in real-time.
In short, 5G will remould the ways that we interact with our homes, societies, and outdoor environments.
‘5G is poised to change the way we work, live and consume information on our super-fast phones. The biggest mobile innovation in a decade will future-proof our data consumption for years to come,’ says Dave.
The iPhone 12 Range
Apple’s four latest iPhones include the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 share the same specifications – it’s only the size that differentiates them, making the Mini the lightest, thinnest, smallest 5G phone in the world. Aside from supporting 5G, Apple’s newest suite of models also offers a wealth of other technological upgrades.
Not only are the Pro models the first-ever phones to allow users to capture, edit, watch, and share Dolby video, but the Pro iPhones also use Lidar scanners to analyse surroundings to deliver instant AR experiences. On top of this, Apple’s new photography function Apple ProRAW blends Apple’s machine-learning photography capabilities with the flexibility of RAW image files, enabling ultra-high-quality photographs. The iPhone Pro models use Super Retina XDR displays, which comprise almost 3.5 million pixels. Plus, the camera features an A14 bionic chip, which enables users to set the camera to night mode when using the front-facing feature. Thanks to the A14 bionic chip and 5G support, users can also play video games that they could previously only play on desktop computers on their phones.
Furthermore, Apple has updated its charging system for its newest releases. Users can wirelessly charge the iPhone 12 using a MagSafe magnetic power connector.
Alongside the four iPhone 12 models, Apple has also launched the new HomePod Mini smart speaker. Apple has designed the newest edition of the HomePod range specifically for high-level acoustic performance. The Mini’s round design delivers 360° sound to fill a room, despite its small size. The smart speaker works as a standalone or users can place two HomePod Minis in the same room, and they will automatically convert into left-right stereo speakers. Users can also connect the HomePod Mini with their iPhones to read out messages and connect audio media.
HomePod combines precise, high-fidelity sound with Siri’s intelligence so that consumers can easily discover and interact with media at home. Apple designed the HomePod Mini smart speaker and associated smart home features for customers who are now spending more time at home due to limitations imposed by coronavirus. The HomePod Mini also recognises different users’ voices to read out tailored information based on the person, such as calendar dates and favourite music.
About Dave Antrobus
As an acclaimed software and technology specialist, Dave is renowned for the multitude of high-level web platforms that he has designed and developed for major UK brands, spanning from Google (News - Alert) to Matalan. He conceptualises and oversees technical solutions for a vast range of Inc & Co’s acquisitions and is proficient in C#/ASP.net, PHP, JSP, MySQL, C, C++, Java, Haskell, SaaS (News - Alert), jQuery, Gulp, Web Sockets, Bootstrap, Yarn, Node.js, Redis, and Laravel.
Dave also mentors software development teams, encouraging and enabling them to build and optimise advanced systems, from complex e-commerce platforms to bespoke apps. He is dedicated to supporting businesses in need of creative rejuvenation by strategising digital solutions that act as springboards towards improved sales, returns on investment, and essential growth.
Learn more about Dave Antrobus and Inc & Co at https://incandco.com.