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5G stands for ‘fifth generation mobile network’. It is faster, more resilient and has lower latency and more bandwidth than 4G, providing a better experience for users and businesses.

It is a true game changer technology that changes the way we live, work and play. It will provide the underlying wireless infrastructure to support a host of new applications, including connected cars, virtual and augmented reality, and the foundations for emerging smart environments.

There are many personal and commercial benefits, as well as positive impacts on providing healthcare services, education, tourism, remote working, and accessing online services, to name a few.

Ofcom has worked with the UK Government to produce a guide to 5G that you can download.


5G and how it differs to 4G


Downloading an average HD movie on 4G takes 15 minutes, on 5G it will take only 3 minutes.

Minutes 3 5G Speed

Minutes 15 4G Speed


The time it takes to send information is dramatically reduced. On 4G it takes 30-40 milliseconds for information to travel from the sender to the receiver, with 5G it takes under 10 milliseconds. The lower latency means you experience very little lag (or buffering), with reaction times faster than the human brain. This will enable applications that simply aren’t possible today, such as: multiplayer mobile gaming, factory automation, and other tasks that demand quick responses.

Milliseconds <10 5G Speed

Milliseconds 30-40 4G Speed

Connected Devices

The number of devices connected at once will no longer impact your connectivity like it currently does on 4G. When connected to 5G in large crowds like a festival or football match you will stay connected. As the network has greater capacity, this means networks can better cope with not only the rapidly increasing data demands of customers today but the growth of high-demand applications being planned in the future. This prepares us for the lifestyle and economy changes that are due to come.

Network Slicing

This allows organisations to use 5G as a reliable source of connectivity, this is because it is possible to ‘slice’ the network. For example, the network can be sliced for several organisations to use, such as the emergency services, local authorities and local businesses operate on dedicated networks providing reliable and secure connections. This is not currently possible with 4G. This will enable organisations and businesses to use 5G as a back-up circuit, reducing costs for other connectivity solutions for their disaster recovery plans.

5G and its role in NetZero

According to the World Economic Forum, digital technologies could reduce global carbon emissions by 15% - almost one third of the 50% reduction required by 2030. We are here to work with the relevant stakeholders to accelerate this innovation in Staffordshire.

Trials have demonstrated how 5G can optimise areas such as energy production by monitoring wind turbines in real-time to maximise productivity; optimising waste flows for more efficient recycling; or gather real time data to help residents in zero carbon buildings reduce their energy consumption.

5G would also allow intelligent transportation solutions to monitor vehicle and pedestrian flows.

Better connectivity such as 5G can provide the following NetZero benefits:

Lower impact on natural resources, better animal welfare, fewer emissions, lower fuel consumption, less pollution and waste (including food), better use of resources and improved health and safety.

5G would also allow intelligent transportation solutions to monitor vehicle and pedestrian flows.

When will 5G be available?

Network operators are at the forefront of delivering on the Government’s ambition and we are here to act as an enabler, helping them by playing a role in helping to improve mobile connectivity.

Check with your network provider to see when 5G is coming to your areas. You can also check the current coverage on Which or Ofcom.

You can find out the available coverage from the four mobile network operators (MNOs) in any given area using Ofcom’s mobile coverage checker. You can also visit the 4G coverage checkers on each of the mobile operators’ websites:

EE | Three | O2 | Vodafone