Edge computing looks ready to further improve the performance of 5G networks
The rollout of fifth-generation mobile networks continues to expand rapidly throughout much of Europe, North America, and Asia. These new 5G networks offer far higher transmission speeds as well as dramatically higher capacity in terms of the number of connected devices and the overall amount of bandwidth that can be shared between them. Their biggest draw, however, is their ultra-low latency which is essential for the development of safe and reliable self-driving cars, as well as many other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Whilst the rollout of this huge improvement in mobile network technology is still in its infancy throughout many of the most important countries, there was a massive increase in deployments throughout 2020. There was a total of 99 countries with some level of 5G infrastructure by the end of Q3 2020. The countries with the largest deployments of the technology were the United States (7,583 antennas constructed), followed by Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
The Many Faces of 5G Technology
There is an issue, however. Not all 5G deployments around the world work in the same way, as several countries have not yet cleared many areas of the spectrum that have now been assigned to 5G. As a result, the specific frequency bands used for 5G technology in each country varies dramatically at present. The US is concentrating on the millimeter- wave bands at 28Ghz and 33Ghz, which offer extremely impressive speeds but require an extremely tight grid of antennas to deliver their true potential.
Other countries are currently concentrating on other parts of the specification. Most of Europe is currently focusing on the mid-band (3.3-4.2Ghz) area of the spectrum, which has the benefit of allowing existing 4G traffic to share infrastructure with the new 5G network. Fewer antennas are required, but speeds are expected to be much lower than those that will be available in North America.
In terms of take-up, China currently appears to have the highest number of active 5G devices using the new infrastructure they are deploying at a pace that would be unthinkable in the West. Behind them are South Korea, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and Qatar.
All of these countries are expected to clear the remaining spectrum required to implement the entire 5G specification, but in the meantime, other technologies are being developed which could help to ensure everyone who uses 5G can feel the benefits that their new devices can offer.
Edge Computing – Revolutionary or Stop-Gap?
A new idea currently termed “Edge Computing” intends to move a large amount of frequently requested web and video streaming content closer to the consumers using 5G networks. These edge nodes are intended to reduce the latency as well as improving the speed of 5G networks that are using lower frequency bands. The new network paradigm has already been tested extensively and looks to offer huge benefits over sticking to the existing “cloud” infrastructure that has been used in the past.
Edge Computing looks set to revolutionize existing music and video streaming services for consumers using mobile devices, but other sectors have been keeping a close eye on the technology too. The online gambling industry looks set to use these “Edge Nodes” to improve the performance of their Live Dealer games such as Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette.
The Future of Live Casino Gaming
Live Casino gaming is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of online casino gambling, and it’s easy to see why. Virtual table games do have the advantage of impressive speed, resulting in a dramatically higher number of hands per hour. The problem is, many gamers don’t trust those virtual games – and even the ones that do find them quite dull compared to the experience of actually playing their favorite game at a land-based casino.
On the other hand, playing a Live Casino version of Baccarat, Blackjack or Roulette brings you as close to the real casino experience as it is possible to get. The ultra-low latency of 5G networks that are utilizing edge nodes even presents the opportunity for land-based casinos to offer hybrid tables. Log in to your favorite online casino and take a seat at one of these tables, and you are literally sharing the game with patrons currently playing the game at a real land-based casino. As a fan of both online and land-based table games, I cannot help but be excited by the potential of this amazing new technology.