What does 5G mean for developers?

What does 5G mean for developers?

5G promises to reshape businesses and customers alike.
But does 5G mean for developers, today?

5G is everywhere. From social media to IT departments, everyone is talking about it. But with so many misconceptions and, frankly, misinformation, it is hard to envision what 5G will bring to the table. Basically, the question is what does 5G mean?

Is it faster? Enough to make a difference? Is it more reliable? In what way? Does it open up more doors? Where to? All these are valid concerns and may prevent you from embracing what is basically the future.

Finally, you might struggle to understand what 5G means for software development. So, since we’re ecstatic with 5G, let us walk you through the basics first.

What is 5G?

5G is not a 4G 2.0. Period. It is in fact an entirely new network infrastructure, the fifth generation of mobile and broadband.

To put it simply, 5G uses three kinds of radio-wave frequencies: low, medium, and high. 1G, 2G and 3G mobile communication depends on these low radio frequencies as they are great for covering extensive areas. So does TV broadcasting. 4G networks and Wi-Fi run on medium radio frequencies which add more capacity. Satellite communication and car sensors require the granularity only high radio frequencies can provide.

5G will use all three of them in a smarter way that allows for more capacity–say goodbye to congested networks–more speed, and for much quicker reaction times. 5G will expand connectivity to more than just phones. It really will connect the world. This changes everything.

What does 5G mean for the future?

5G networks started being deployed worldwide in 2019 (South Korea was the first nation to make it available), as you might have noticed, but it isn’t quite available everywhere… yet. This is because 5G requires different equipment than the ones we currently rely on.

Sounds like a big fuss for a slightly better internet connection? Oh, you’re in for a surprise. 5G can deliver speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, with ultra-low latency, up to 400 times lower. And with wider capacity, as much as 1 million devices can connect per square kilometre, versus 4G’s 2.000. It is much more than simply better internet connection.

Imagine smart cars “talking” to each other, drones as emergency services, health monitoring devices transmitting information to healthcare providers almost instantly, interactive climate control systems, smart factories, 3D holographic advertisements. Imagine smart, sustainable cities. Sounds like a sci-fi movie, except it might as well be the reality.

5G means more opportunities for companies

While the benefits of a faster, wider, and lower-latency connection are pretty obvious – improved communications, more efficient remote work, precise automation, and so on – there are some other advantages brought in by 5G that are the real game-changers.

5G opens the doors wide (and we mean, wide) for IoT. It also paves the way for improved AR, VR, or 3D applications, increased security, and did someone say Industry 4.0?

In sum, 5G opens up a world of opportunities for businesses, both in the backstage and for their customers. Expect everything from better-than-ever customer experience to smart management. Disruptive? Quite so.

What does 5G mean for software development?

5G has an enormous potential, which translates to an array of changes – good ones – for customers and businesses. But the actual stars behind the rise of 5G are, well, us, the developers. This is what 5G means for developers.

Real multi-device software development

Since 5G is designed for all devices, IoT will be one of the biggest winners of the 5G revolution. All kinds of devices will need a multitude of digital applications, just like smartphones do now.

New generation of mobile apps

From healthcare to entertainment, 5G will transform virtually all sectors. Think immersive atmospheres delivered by AR, VR, MR, increased GPS performance, enhanced cloud compatibility, 4K, 360º and 3D video streaming… Can you even imagine tactile internet?

A myriad of new app functionalities

And apart from new apps, this new generation of mobile network can and will significantly improve the performance of many existing apps. How? By offering more speed, reliability, capacity and quicker response times, app developers will answer by creating app functionalities to suit these additional features.

Security and privacy taken to a whole new level

Network Slicing is another star feature of 5G. What this means is that 5G allows for different network “slices” inside one network, with no special-purpose networks. Any service can get a slice of the network without compromising speed, latency, capacity or reliability–especially interesting with healthcare, for instance.

Does this mean that transitioning to 5G is easy? As with everything new, there are always challenges, and 5G is no exception. One particular (and reasonable) concern associated with 5G is security. With more and more data gathering, comes more possibilities for data breaches, for example. Another challenge is to re-imagine and re-design current software and apps to benefit from the new stability brought by 5G.

For us at Near Partner, this is an opportunity to come up with smarter, stronger and more permanent solutions to already existing problems – or, as we put it, to grow as developers.

At Near Partner we are ready to explore the potential of 5G

We are more than ready, in fact, we are eager. Exploring software development beyond the current limitations, learning the real meaning of innovation, and really, really diving into a digitally transformed world is just like developer heaven.

Do you and your business need help though this journey? Talk to us. We can help you explore your options and take connectivity and applications to the next level. We’re all in for this exciting ride.

Patrícia Peixinho

With an insatiable appetite for challenges, I dove deep into the captivating realm of Project Management while puzzling management processes in Near Partner’s Salesforce team. My passion for marketing and communication shines through into every facet of my work. I'm curious, imaginative, ingenious.