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Friday, April 26, 2019
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Masbad: Battleground: Latency

Wacky Tech

AFTER last week’s piece on the state of our mobile networks in the country, I found this recently published story from OpenSignal about latency being the new battleground in 5G.

And rightly so.

In the advent of 5G and its promised Gigabit-level speeds, those speeds will not matter squat if that same 5G network can’t respond quickly enough. That response time is basically what latency is about. I’ve talked about this in some detail in may previous articles. That’s how it can sometimes feel that your internet connection is slow because latency is way too high. Conversely, it feels fast because the latency is very low. This is why a newbie gamer will almost always ask about ping times.

Anyway, latency in a 5G network. Theoretically speaking, latency on such a high speed network should be lower than what we’re already getting with our current network infrastructure of 4G. I’m pretty sure everyone is anticipating great things with 5G, lower latencies included. Why are we concerned about latency numbers? Well, because that, I think, will be the determining factor for mobile augmented reality (AR), 360-degree video and virtual reality (VR) as viable experiences. Mobile phone manufacturers all over the globe are already pushing out mobile phones that are 5G capable.

And in line with those mobile phones, chipset makers are also getting into it; rushing to make sure they have the right chips to sell to mobile phone manufacturers. There’s a need for the new generation chipsets like the Snapdragon 855 so we can all take advantage of the already-rolling-out 5G networks. Without these new chipsets, our phones will remain in the 4G world.

From here on out, it’s going to be about new technologies (hardware and software) to be able to properly take advantage of 5G technologies. Let’s face it, 5G isn’t just going to be about making sure you’re able to chat faster with your friends online or video call in HD. 5G will also be about advancing related technologies in medicine, agriculture, transportation, and even in the military.

For now, it’s a wait-and-see game. I will wait and see how things will pan out. There’s not much we can do here in the Philippines but wait and see because, for sure, our two current mobile networks won’t be a rolling out 5G anytime soon. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong though. Hopefully. In the meantime, we’ll just ogle away on those newly-released phone that are 5G-capable that very few Filipinos will be able to afford. And for those who will be able to get one, it’s pretty much owning a Koenigsegg Jesko but driving it in rush hour Edsa.


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