5G, or the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications to give it its full name, is expected to be the next leap forward in mobile internet.
A huge step up from 2G, 3G, and 4G before it, which were all pioneering technologies in their own right, 5G is expected to offer speeds of up to 442Mbps (according to median data in preliminary tests). This is approximately 23 times faster than the average speeds offered by 4G connections.
There’s little doubt that 5G connections would offer a significant upgrade for all mobile users, no matter how they use their handsets. But in particular, mobile gamers stand to benefit the most and below, we explain why.
How Many People Use Mobile Data?
According to Statista’s report on mobile internet usage, as of 2018, mobile internet was responsible for more than half of the world’s internet bandwidth usage (51.2% to be exact). The research firm expects global mobile data traffic to increase by seven times between now and the year 2021 and continents such as Africa and Asia are even considered “mobile first” areas because their residents are that much more likely to access the internet via a mobile device than any other platform.
Comparatively, there were 2.8 billion active mobile gamers as of 2017, meaning that there is a huge amount of overlap in people who play games on mobile and those who use a mobile internet connection.
So Many Mobile Games Use Internet Connections
This is evident in the fact that many mobile games use internet connections to do what they do. Some of this is done in small ways, in leaderboards that compare your score to friends or with social features that encourage you to share your high score to Facebook and Twitter. Some games take it further, using internet connections in new and inventive ways, such as live casino titles, which allow you to play casino games such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette with a real-life dealer rather than a computer.
You can even chat to the dealer, asking them questions and getting helpful advice. Meanwhile, advanced multiplayer games pit you against other players with lag being a limiting factor. As more of these advanced features are included in our mobile games, we will need our mobile internet connections to increase in speed so that our experiences remain smooth.
Many Gamers Watch Livestreams
And it’s not just the games themselves. Many gamers also tune into livestreams of games, watching other players play the game and communicating with likeminded fans. Live streaming platform Twitch has 15 million daily active users, while video game live streaming on YouTube and Mixer is also growing in popularity. Because many of us tune into these streams on the go, we’ll want our data connections to be quick and speedy so we don’t miss any of the stream’s action.
5G data connections are expected to arrive in South Korea in March 2019, where the many of tuned in gamers in the country will be able to enjoy it. It’s unclear when gamers in other regions will be so lucky, but watch this space.