In the increasingly digital-driven world, connectivity is a key facet of our everyday lives. In the wake of COVID-19 adjusted lockdown level 4 and the ever-expanding Fourth Industrial Revolution, connectivity is integral to human engagement, education, entertainment and remote work, with smartphones being the preferred device of connection. One thing is certain: data availability and quick and reliable bandwidth is no longer a luxury; mobile connectivity is a human need.
In conjunction with this, South Africa is set to roll out 5G – the fifth generation of mobile connectivity that promises 10 times more bandwidth than 4G, and 100 times more than 3G. Based on the evolution of networks and smartphones, the key considerations for the SA market are affordability, availability and accessibility.
It is for this reason that brands such as Xiaomi has expanded its operations in South Africa: to make innovative, cost-effective smartphones and AIoT technology accessible and attainable to a diverse nation with diverse needs. With smartphones retailing as little as R1,799 and the imminent launch of the country’s most affordable 5G smartphone in July 2021, Xiaomi is set to provide South Africans with smartphones that are not only cost-effective, but are tailored to serve every segment of the market.
This is a part of Xiaomi’s long-term commitment to innovation, with their research and development department projected to spend $7.2 billion in 5G technology and AIoT in the next 5 years.
As 5G is set to become an integral part of our way of life, here are the benefits you need to know about:
1. Internet Speed
As South Africans live, work and play in the digital landscape more than ever before, the increased speed of 5G will notably enhance our experience online. 5G’s capacity for huge data speeds means that individuals will be able to enjoy crisp mobile 4K videos from anywhere, and homes and businesses have a high-performing alternative to fibre. 5G also promises to maintain a stronger and more consistent connection speed when browsing on the move.
From an entertainment perspective, video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will be able to deliver a faster and crisper viewing experience due to 5G’s high-speed connectivity and quick data transfers.
2. Reduced Connection Lags
Communication latency will be drastically reduced on 5G networks, meaning no more lags on video calls or mobile gaming. As it stands, 4G networks demonstrate a lag of up to 50 milliseconds. This has been predicted to drop to 1 millisecond (or less) on 5G networks, which will greatly improve connectivity experiences.
Developments in 5G results in far more reliable networks in general, which will render dropped calls and connectivity lapses a thing of the past.
3. IoT Interconnectedness
One of the most exciting benefits of 5G’s expansion is the capability to connect a multitude of devices to the network at the same time. This unlocks the potential for South Africans to create interconnected ecosystems of devices and AIoT products at work and home to make their lives simpler and more efficient. Through this increase in network capacity, South Africans are able to interconnect smart products, wearables, smartphones, sensors, lighting, appliances and more, enabling these devices to operate holistically at rapid speed.
4. Increased Battery Life
One of the parallel benefits of 5G is that it actually preserves the battery life of connected devices. As 5G is 10 times faster than 4G networks, less operating power is needed to download large files simply because it takes less time.
5. Enhanced Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
5G-driven advances means that AR and VR will become far more accessible and immersive. Over and above gaming, we can expect further integration of AR and VR into business communications – such as video conferencing – and expansion into entertainment and tourism, such as enjoying simulated experiences of global landmarks or internationally-headlined concerts from the comfort of your own home.
5G is set to change the lives of all South Africans. Faster mobile connectivity presents the opportunity to serve fundamental needs: to spearhead innovation, power online learning and remote work, expand the Internet of Things (IoT) and drive economic development. While 5G may take some time to roll out, it is necessary for South Africans to future-proof themselves by investing in affordable, innovative 5G technology now, so that they are ready for all the benefits 5G has to offer.