Smartphones and fast internet may be ubiquitous today, but you only need to go back just 20 years or so to a time when having a mobile phone, of any kind, was considered a luxury. Those phones were large and bulky as well, a far cry from the sleek ultra-thin mini-computers we carry around in our pockets today, illustrating just how far technology has come in that time. It is a similar story with regard to the Internet as well, which most people in their 30s will remember as being extremely slow, and dependent on the landline phone line being unoccupied for it to even work. Fast forward to today, where the majority of media and entertainment consumption takes place on the internet, and a lot of it on mobile devices as well.
In terms of the development of the internet, we are now entering the age of 5G. Some numbers are important to put things into perspective – on a 5G network, users will have an average speed of 300 megabits per second, going up to a maximum of 10 gigabits per second. This, in layman’s terms, would mean that you could download a 5 GB file, for example, a little more than in four seconds. That is staggeringly fast, and explains why there is so much buzz and clamour for 5G networks to be introduced in various countries around the world.
The arrival of 5G will also have a proportional impact on online casinos and gambling, which are considered a subset of mobile gaming. Online gambling has seen a similar boost this year, due to the large number of people who have turned to it while looking for new forms of entertainment while being at home, while regular casino customers have also adopted online gambling, since they cannot visit land-based casinos at the moment. With 5G networks, it will be much easier for people to play casino games on their phones without fear of losing their deposits due to poor connectivity, while live dealer games will also work better.
Even before the impact of the pandemic on online gambling, it was on the rise. According to the latest figures from the Gambling Commission in the UK, online and remote gambling revenue rose by nearly 3% last year, to £5.6 billion, even as overall gambling revenue fell by 0.4%. This shows that there was already a large market for online gambling, which has only expanded now, and the arrival of 5G will make their gaming experience even better, potentially drawing more new customers to this space as well.
The biggest benefit will be that lag will become almost non-existent, while servers will also be able to cope much better with many concurrent users at the same time. This will lead to games such as live blackjack, for example, becoming a lot more engaging, since players are usually online with a live dealer in such games, which requires high-quality video streams and fast internet to work seamlessly and provide the best gambling experience.
One of the areas where 5G can have a huge impact is virtual reality (VR), which is one of the most promising future technologies for online gambling. VR headsets have been gaining popularity in the last few years, especially among gambling fans, but they require high-speed internet to work at their best. The previous network protocol, 4G, only has a maximum data transfer speed of 100 megabits per second. However, with 5G, those speeds can go up to as high as 10 gigabits per second. This is more than 100 times quicker than 4G, and will definitely revolutionize the likes VR and other technologies which will need rapid internet to be truly effective.
Thus, the arrival of 5G technology will be a huge benefit to the mobile gaming and online casino industries, and consumers will see their mobile experiences improve at a massive rate as well.