Smartphone owners in London may still be wondering over whether it’s worth making the jump from 3G to 4G, but for Boris Johnson the question is already too late, with the Mayor pledging to make 5G internet available in the capital by 2020.
Mr Johnson is set to announce this ambitious scheme later in this week as part of a technological collaboration with the University of Surrey, reports the Daily Telegraph.
It’s presumed that the plan will build on David Cameron’s announcement in March this year to fuel a “permanent technological revolution” in the UK through ultra-fast 5G internet.
Since the introduction of “1G” in 1981, each successive mobile internet standard has increased every decade or so. Although 5G is still under development it's thought it could be as much as 250 times faster than 4G.
In Cameron’s own expression, that’s fast enough to download a 800 megabyte film in “one second”.
Mr Johnson said: “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.”
In addition the Mayor promised that more accurate information about internet speeds for individual properties would be offered to prospective tenants and buyers, with a map of London’s internet needs developed to direct development where it is most needed.
If the Mayor does meet his promise, it's likely that 5G in London might be more experimental than commercial. Even the mobile operator EE, who were the first to introduce 4G to the UK, are only planning to roll out their 5G network by 2022.