Edge computing: 5G’s killer app?

5G is finally here. Many of us have now made the jump from using 4G smartphones while businesses are getting to grips with the new standard. The timing couldn’t be better: there are now more than three billion smartphone users worldwide, while the number of data intensive applications that businesses rely on has never been higher.

About the author

Ravi Mayuram, Senior Vice President of Engineering and CTO at Couchbase.

But in practical terms, what differences will we really notice compared with 4G? In a nutshell, 5G promises the ultra low latency and high capacity required to make data-intensive applications work more effectively. For one thing, it’s blazing fast: with 5G, data can travel from a device to a cell tower and back in just 3 milliseconds (compared with 12-15 milliseconds for 4G). This opens up enormous possibilities for advanced applications. While we’ve seen plenty of hype around what 5G can offer, much of it is true. 5G’s speed and low latency opens the door for autonomous vehicles to become mainstream, to give one example. Medical professionals might use 5G to support instant diagnoses of patients, cutting back the time it takes to wait for a result. The possibilities seem endless.

The same old problems

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