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On the 2nd February, 2016, the European Commission released plans to boost mobile internet speeds with the introduction of a high-quality 5G service. With this announcement the commission outlined the steps they intend to take to allow for a huge overhaul of mobile internet access which will account for an expected increase of up to 8 times more mobile internet traffic by 2020.
Currently the frequency band for 5G, around 700 MHz (megahertz), is being used for the transmission of television broadcasts. The EU Commission intends to clear this range to pave the way for a new 5G internet service, allowing for greater connectivity across Europe without disruption or the need to change data bands between countries. The proposed plans will allow high quality internet for users wherever they are; this could be a small isolated village right through to a large densely populated city. It will pave the way for potential future innovations such as internet-connected cars and remote healthcare. In this news report, the Commission also outlines how it intends to allow the lower sub 700 MHz band to still cater for existing audiovisual services.
Obviously this is great news for consumers, but what about its importance for your business? This increase of mobile network capacity is all part of a forward thinking strategy in the EU to prepare for the exponential growth of mobile traffic – as previously mentioned this is projected to be 8 times the current traffic. Increased mobile network speeds will mean business-critical operations will be quicker and far more reliable whilst ‘on-the-go’, this can include simple tasks such as updating your website through to making important exchanges via banking applications. With mobile website traffic already outweighing desktop users on a lot of sites, we can safely bet that a faster overall experience for mobile users will naturally drive an increased confidence and usage in mobile browsing.
Whilst this change does mean that in the future we will be able to deliver more content and functionality to users through websites without significantly hindering their experience, it is quite a way off. Mobile performance is an important obstacle to user engagement and conversions, as such it should be considered a primary factor when working on a web project and optimisation for mobile usage is vital to success.