With Wizards Unite getting closer to its release and Niantic recently unveiling some of its upcoming technology, most of us are wondering what is all this 5G Networks talk all about, and if we should start looking into getting a compatible phone.
So let us break it down for you.
Why all the 5G chatter?
During his 2019 WMC keynote, Niantic CEO John Hanke made a point of mentioning how important 5G networks are to Augmented Reality and Niantic’s plans for the future. In fact, the company has begun partnering with telecommunications companies (starting off in Germany) that are going into the 5G network business.
Considering Niantic’s focus on new technology, their investment in buying smaller companies that specialised in certain aspects of AR, and their partnership with these telecom companies, it seems Niantic is playing the long game. They clearly want to be at the forefront when we are finally ready for 5G.
And this is not just for mobile games. These new 5G networks could potentially change the way we interact with technology everywhere. Banking, low-latency navigation for cars, even live video streaming on youtube. 5G could improve it all.
Right now 5G is, simply put, the next step in the ever-evolving network that keeps our modern world going. While the switch from 3G and 4G involved a complete change, 4G and 5G networks are expected to co-exist. At least for the time being.
However, just because both networks will continue to work side by side doesn’t mean they are the same.
What 5G brings to the table
There are a lot of technical details, but we are not getting into those. Here’s just a few specifics.
According to ITU guidelines, 5G network speeds should have a peak data rate of 20 Gb/s for the downlink and 10 Gb/s for the uplink. Latency in a 5G network could get as low as 4 milliseconds in a mobile scenario and can be as low as 1 millisecond in Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication scenarios. Not only will people be connected to each other but so will machines, automobiles, city infrastructure, public safety and more.
Now in a way we (I) can understand. 5G allows data to travel much faster and lowers latency. Which is something we all want. It also seems 5G networks will be much more energy-efficient, which will ultimately mean our batteries will last longer than they do on 4G networks.
5G for Wizards Unite
Faster networks will allow much more complex AR to be available to us, since our devices will be receive that information faster.
Low latency is what will make multi-player platforms possible. We’ve seen what can be done with low-latency networks. Niantic’s Codename Neon is a perfect example.
After seeing all the new Wizards Unite Gameplay recently released, we can clearly see the potential there. A 5G network would allow Niantic to take Wizards Unite to the next level.
Just consider Fortresses. This is where we will team up and battle both wizards and beasts in an attempt to get some rare rewards. Now imagine team work like this with low latency. Whatever I do with my phone, everyone in my team will see it within milliseconds. It will allow us to work together much better.
But there’s also another possibility. One everyone here at Accio Wizards Unite finds more appealing. One I, as a Dark Wizard wannabe, would love to try. Wizarding Duels. Sure, we are all on the same side against the Calamity. But how awesome would it be to have special events where we can battle other teams for extra-special rewards? Or just for the fun of it, really. This could be made possible by 5G networks.
So I should get a new 5G phone then?
Well now, hold your hippogriffs. That’s not what I’m saying. Not by a long shot.
5G is extremely new still, and phone companies are only just starting to offer 5G compatible phones.
So even if you go out right now and get the best, most expensive, most amazing 5G phone, it won’t make a bit of a difference. Because you won’t have 5G networks to use it.
In fact, that’s one of the keys here. Phone companies can develop compatible phones much faster than telecom companies can update their networks. So what will really determine when to make the switch is not the phone, but the network.
And even then, 4G will still be available for quite some time. And Wizards Unite will continue working on 4G.
Here’s how you can decide
- Do you need a new device?
If you are getting a new phone, I would highly recommend going for a 5G device. Why? Because you don’t want to find yourself a year from now wanting to change your phone yet again only because now you can have 5G. So if you’re changing, go for 5G.
- Do you want a new device? If you want to switch up, whatever the reason, then our advice is the same as the previous one. Go for 5G
- Do you live in rural/out of the way areas?
As with everything, companies invest where they can get good returns. One of the issues with 5G is that it works short distance. What this means, basically, is that instead of installing one large cell or antenna, there will be many, smaller cells spread around. So, as always, if you live in a small place, far from urban areas, it might take you a long time to get a 5G network. So don’t rush the new phone.
But most importantly:
- Wizards Unite was developed for 4G, and it will work on 4G. Will there eventually be perks to skipping over to a 5G network? Sure. But a large-scale, multi-player platform is still a long way away.
Our honest advice
If you’re changing your phone, go for 5G. Be ready for when the awesomeness arrives.
Otherwise hold off, check out what 5G actually has to offer once it arrives. And in the meantime, play Wizards Unite on 4G, just like all of us will, regardless of our phones.