London Mayor promises lightning-fast 5G networks by 2020

The internet will go directly through your brain!

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has pledged to bring blazing fast 5G internet to the city by 2020. This is part of a wider, long-term plan aimed at improving London’s infrastructure. The Mayor explained:

London is earning a reputation for being the tech capital of Europe and that is why we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access the very best digital connectivity. Rapidly improving the connectivity of this great city is a key part of the Infrastructure Plan for London.

Of course this sounds like an ambitious, and rather implausible proposition, considering 5G is just now getting defined and tested around the world. However, London will be collaborating with the University of Surrey, which is in turn currently collaborating with South Korea to develop and test 5G networks. And all of this makes the project more likely to actually happen.

And the UK is not the only one looking to get a head start on the next wave of mobile connectivity. Japan is also aiming to deploy 5G networks in the same timeframe. In theory this next-generation technology could allow transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, a huge increase over current 4G tech.  

Johnson also promised that much more accurate information pertaining to broadband speeds will be available to those looking to buy or rent a home in London. Finally the mayor says he’ll be working closely with telcos to create a map of where connectivity improvements are needed most urgently.

Mayor Johnson’s remarks seem to be in line with a wider trend across Europe, where the EU wants to get back to a time when the continent lead the world in mobile connectivity and benefited greatly from it. Here’s hoping all of this competition for 5G deployment will get us there.

Source: The Telegraph | Image via Fanshare

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26 Comments

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burritodave said,
I think the picture reminds me of Harry from the movie Dumb & Dumber.

Boris reminds me of my Uncle Frank. Same face but with short brown hair, Boris's twin :)

Is Boris Johnson even going to be London Mayor in 2020? He said himself he's not going to be in the running in the next Mayor elections.

Hmm. There's something I don't understand. I believed the term 4G LTE was meant to say that using the same network, upgrades over the time were possible. Meaning that the 4G infrastructure would be more powerful as the ISP wanted.

This 5G thing is a marketing thing, meaning that it will be used with the same 4G LTE infrastructure, or not? I'm fuzzy about this.

Here's how it happened: 4G was supposed to mean LTE and 5G would be LTE-A. Problem is telcos used this crap as marketing BS so 4G wasn't actually LTE but HSPA+ ( 3G + ) and now they're rolling out LTE and calling it 4G or 4G+.
5G is still supposed to be LTE-A or even something after that but if it gets marketed by these a-holes again there's no knowing what tech will actually be behind it.

Jose_49 said,
Hmm. There's something I don't understand. I believed the term 4G LTE was meant to say that using the same network, upgrades over the time were possible. Meaning that the 4G infrastructure would be more powerful as the ISP wanted.

This 5G thing is a marketing thing, meaning that it will be used with the same 4G LTE infrastructure, or not? I'm fuzzy about this.

That was the same with 3G. There were lots of increases in performance that happened on the 3G network without having to upgrade the underlying technology that powered it. They design the networks to be able to keep up with demand for 10 years with only minor upgrades. After 10 years they begin rolling out a fundamental upgrade to the networks which is what 5G will be. The only way 5G could be considered a marketing thing is that it's the term that marketers will use to describe a complex collection of technological upgrades.

I'm still confused, though. From reading both of your comments it seems that they ARE upgrading their infrastructure but it's still in-line with LTE

Jose_49 said,
I'm still confused, though. From reading both of your comments it seems that they ARE upgrading their infrastructure but it's still in-line with LTE

There were only ever very very few telcos that sold HSDPA+ as 4G and none in the UK.

LTE wasn't originally counted as 4G but "3.9G". Marketers sold it as 4G and it was a big enough leap from 3G (unlike HSDPA+) so its stuck. LTE-A will likely be 4G+ like HSDPA+ was for 3G. 5G will likely be an entirely different technology but we don't know yet because there are a huge number of technologies that are currently being researched for inclusion under the 5G name.

I don't know why Vlad would say "Yeap that's pretty much what's happening" when he has no idea what is going to labelled as 5G. Whatever happens LTE-A is unlikely to be called 5G because many countries have plans to roll it out next year which would be far too soon to call it 5G.

This. I live in London and when I get a usable 3G connection I feel pleased for an entire day. My iPhone 5S displays 4G in some areas but loading a web page still takes an eon. Not to mention connectivity problems when you are in between towers.

RichieC said,
Thought 4G was meant to be lightning fast?

Until you have too many people on a tower using it at once and then it's slow as heck...

Hmm it's fairly fast from my experience. (Well unless you have an iPhone 5 in the UK that's not on EE - In which case it doesn't work at all.)

neufuse said,

Until you have too many people on a tower using it at once and then it's slow as heck...

Indeed, trying to get a working 3G signal in central London at rush hour is basically impossible. Never tried 4G but I'm sure it's no better.

It will happen regardless of empty promises by Boris. London will always be the first location to roll out the next generation of mobile networks.

The only question is will it happen by 2020? Depends on how much money the Government want for the frequencies.

Utterly deceptive twaddlespeak. 5G does not describe any particular specification in any official document published by any telecommunication standardization body.

The_Decryptor said,
With the way 4G is currently being rolled out (It isn't) I think you could change the 2 to a 5 (Either one) and it'd be more likely.

Living in London on EE I get 4G more often than not and that's been getting better the whole time I've had my phone. They may not have rolled it out near you yet, but that doesn't mean they're not rolling it out anywhere in the UK.

Well I'm actually in Australia but my point still stands because it's an LTE rollout, not an LTE-A rollout (Which is at least in the planning stages in some places at least)

The difference is that LTE is a 3G tech, while LTE-A is a 4G tech.

Vester said,
I'm sure we will get it, but not unlimited (not without a silly high price tag or slow downs anyway).

I get unlimited 4G with 3 and the upgrade from 3G didn't cost me any more.