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An eye on new wireless standards on Armagh

"SKTelecom 5G" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by TheBetterDay

The march of technology moves ever onwards, and nowhere is safe from the new generation’s influence. In the age of technology, one of the most constant and visible forms of progress we’re faced with is the increasing use of wireless internet systems. Most recently, this has taken the form of 5G and new Wi-Fi 7 standards. Misinformation and debate still circle this tech, so what are its real uses, and what issues and benefits might it create for Armagh?

A Step Forward in Tech

The two main arms of wireless technology being talked about today, 5G and Wi-Fi 7, can be confusing, even for people with an interest in computing systems. Most would have at least heard of 5G, the name of which refers to the 5th generation of mobile connection technology.

At its core, 5G aims to increase the speed of older 4G solutions, especially in denser environments. Here it works to increase download and upload speed (bandwidth), reduce waiting time in sending and receiving data (latency), and improve the number of connections possible from each mobile tower. It also comes with a downside of lower range and penetration potential over 4G, which is why it works together with 4G instead of replacing it entirely.

Wi-Fi 7 can be seen as a shorter-range use of wireless internet, such as what you’d connect to in your house or a restaurant network. Like 5G, Wi-Fi 7 adds greater speeds and lower latencies and supports more simultaneously connected devices, as noted at So, will this matter? That depends on what you use your internet for…

Changes to Engagement

For the average user, it can be difficult to determine whether an upgrade to your internet will be worth a change. Sometimes we grow used to what we have, and without knowing what the cutting edge can bring, we’re happy to sit where we are, with ignorance being bliss. We might also legitimately barely push our connections, so the advantages of newer systems won’t matter.

Big Households, Streamers, and Power Users

Real advantages are most visible for the few users pushing their platforms to their limits. This is most common in home networks of large households with many connected devices. If you notice internet connections and streams dropping despite a strong signal and a fast internet plan, older Wi-Fi generations can be a culprit, as these are notorious for struggling with many connected devices.

With 5G, those who work outside with mobiles or laptops would most feel the changes with 5G. Again this would mitigate issues of dropped connections, though the number of people who work this way is quite low.

Browsers, Casino Players, and Small Households

For the other end of the spectrum, consider what an average user might experience in a smaller household with an activity like playing online casino games. This involves browsing, playing light games like Book of Dead and Gold Rush Express, and watching videos or live-streamed games. In this case, on websites like, even slower internet connections and older systems still work without issue.

Wi-Fi” (CC BY 2.0) by chrisoakley

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Issues with newer connections’ technology can be both real and imaginary. The real issues come from the costs, as purchasing a new mobile device or home router will often not be cheap. Sometimes 5G comes standard with new phones, in which case there’s no downside to upgrading. The same applies if a new internet home connection offers a router with Wi-Fi 7 functionality.

Some people also share a concern that 5G might produce health issues. Here in Armagh, some locals have expressed their worries about this to the council, which we’ve covered at The issue people are concerned about is called electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and while it is a common belief, it’s pseudoscientific and has no basis outside of conspiracy theory circles. Concerns over the appearance of the towers are always valid, however, since that’s a matter of taste.

Looking at this situation in its entirety, it’s up to you and your situation whether or not the upgrades coming to Armagh will be worth your time. For some, the changes will be well worth the change, but for many others, they won’t offer any real advantages. Of course, if you can eventually reap the benefits with no downsides, then there’s no point missing out.

Main image: SKTelecom 5G” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by TheBetterDay

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