Earlier this month, the The Chiefs Esports Club had the opportunity to trial Telstra’s 5G network – in conjunction with Intel and Ericsson.

Aussies are the first in the world to try the ultra fast 5G network, with the event held at the Telstra Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast.

It was covered by the breakfast tv show ‘Sunrise’ – the epitomy of fame right here folks! (In all seriousness, it’s good to get mainstream media to take esports seriously, instead of making fun of it)

How do Intel, Telstra, and Ericson work together to power the 5G network? The press release explains the juicy/nerdy details:

“Telstra’s Executive Director Network and Infrastructure Engineering Channa Seneviratne said Telstra, Intel, and Ericsson used the mmWave wireless connectivity inside Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast to power the demonstration, enabled through Ericsson’s 5G base station and core network. Intel provided its Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, which allows for quick implementation of the latest air interfaces and communication protocols.”

Why did they focus on the esports specifically for this event?

Mr Seneviratne explained: “Esports is the fastest growing spectator sport in the world and this gaming experience is a real life example of how 5G might be used in future.”

Sounds pretty spot on!

I spoke to Intel about why they chose Australia, and they told me, “Australia usually is a test bed World Wide, plus to the best of my knowledge, Australia is making significant strides in the space.”

If you’re like me, you’re wondering what is 5G? What does the G stand for?

I discovered the meaning with my incredible in-depth research (Google search): it stands for generation.

Here’s a brief history on the G’s:

1G – Not wireless, only handle voice signals
2G – Wireless, handles text and calls
3G -Wireless, handles text, calls, web browsing/data downloading
4G – Wireless, handles the same as 3G but much faster (while sharing network resources)
4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) – even faster than 4G

AND NOW… (queue drum roll)

5G – it does everything 4G LTE does, but EVEN FASTER!

How much faster? Well, 4G LTE speeds max out at 1 gigabit per second (with Australian internet though, I’m not sure how much of this we actually see). 5G will max out at 10 gigabit a second, and will reduce latency, (the delay between pushing a button and an action occurring).

Intel told me, “On the day we saw speeds from 450mb to over 3000mb (in exchange)!”

“However this was only during the testing day and these figures will change once the general population join the network. We operated directly in an exchange and next to a 5G mast.”

So we know the speeds are fast, but how will this affect esports exactly?

It’s no secret that we’ve had to deal with terrible speeds (thanks government), causing lag and lots of anger. Pro players need low latency to help them win games, with milliseconds meaning the difference between a kill, a team objective, or even winning the game.

With 5G, latency will only be 5-6 milliseconds, compared to 4G’s 20 millliseconds. This is insanely good, and will give Aussies a fighting chance to compete with international teams, and sharpen their skills.

Although sadly, I won’t be able to blame lag for my mistakes anymore…

Fast speeds sound great, but we are struggling to even get promised NBN speeds now, and infrustructure is not complete in many areas.

We also don’t have many 5G phones yet on the market, so when more are available we may have to fork out a tonne of money just to get our phones up to speed.

On top of this, in order to achieve the high speeds 5G is promising, the frequency will need to be higher than ever before (24 – 100 gigahertz as opposed to 700 megahertz used in previous gens). The downsides to this are it has shorter range and the airwaves can be easily interfered with.

Funnily enough, things like microwaves can affect your internet speed.

So if you want to download the latest episode of Brooklyn 99, yell at your room mates to stop using the microwave, because your internet depends on it.

When will 5G be available in Australia?

According to Telstra, it will be available commercially in Australia in 2019. Other sources claim it will be available in 2020.

Hopefully next year we will all be pwning noobs better than ever with low latency and high speeds!

Are you skeptical of the promised speeds? Do you think we really will get 5G next year? Let me know in the comments.

Aim for the stars,

Luna

Check out Luna’s Tribe on Tribefire!