mobile network latency
5G Technology

Mobile Network Latency: Uncovering the Fundamentals


The introduction of the 5G network has undoubtedly opened new doors in the telecommunication industry. The global audience can now relish superior amenities such as unparalleled coverage and blistering fast internet speed. Consequently, public sector authorities and competitive businesses are also benefiting from this innovation. Therefore, gaining a complete understanding of mobile network latency as a KPI [Key Performance Indicator] now takes centre stage.

According to recent studies, the total number of smartphones is expected to gross 18.22 billion by 2025. To meet the rising customer demands, more strides are being taken to further improve 5G connectivity. Likewise, mobile network latency plays a critical role in measuring the overall efficiency of the network. The most common queries related to this aspect are:

  • What is latency in mobile networks?
  • What factors contribute to mobile network latency?
  • How is latency measured in mobile networks?
  • How do different generations of mobile networks (e.g., 4G, 5G) impact latency?
  • How to reduce latency in mobile networks?

Being informed about these queries will allow us to acknowledge the true potential of the 5G network and beyond. Here we aim to debunk the primary framework of mobile network latency bit-by-bit.

What is Mobile Network Latency?

So, what is latency in mobile network? In simple terms, latency can be defined as a measuring standard that determines the efficiency of a network. It essentially monitors the time taken by a network to register a command issued by a mobile device and consequently reflects a response.

The lower the latency, the faster will be the response rate of the network concerned. Let us consider online gaming as an example. With a low latency rate, gamers can effectively issue commands and receive instant responses which is reflected in the gameplay. Latency is responsible for measuring the time taken for a command or message to be executed.

The concept of mobile network latency is not limited to gaming alone. Individuals working with low latency will encounter optimum user experience as the time taken by mobile data to reach its destination and transmit back to the device is minimal. Therefore indicating, that the aggregate efficiency and speed of the network are significantly enhanced.

Working with a low latency network has assisted corporate giants such as Amazon to reach the pinnacle of the e-commerce industry. Businesses can maintain effective communication with their customers and identify relevant real-time solutions. Thus, a low latency network bridges the communication gap even closer.

The Primary Benefits of Low Mobile Latency

Low latency networks offer a wide range of benefits for businesses as well as the general public. Here are some of the foremost advantages of a low mobile latency network:

A. Seamless Video Conferences

With the assistance of a low latency network, the overall experience of communication via video calls and conferences is significantly improved. From streaming videos online to interacting with your peers, real-time interaction is initiated with low latency in mobile networks. Therefore, transmitting data, sharing information, and maximising productivity are now executed with complete precision.

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B. Simplified File Sharing

Every working professional must fulfil requirements related to extracting online information and sharing documents with their peers. With a low latency mobile network, these obligations can be fulfilled to perfection. 

Transferring data and sharing large documents can be done seamlessly without any interruptions and frustrations. Thus, businesses that operate with multiple teams can prolifically achieve long-term goals.

C. Inclusion of New Use Cases like Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality [VR] technology has gained prominence due to the establishment of low latency networks. The entire sphere of visualising data has unlocked new standards with the assistance of an efficient network. 

Businesses can now integrate this use case and explore new options concerning 3D model analysis, prototype designing, and building simulations that feature an additional level of creativity in solving customer problems.

D. Initiating Cloud-Based Collaborations

The option of cloud collaborations has assisted businesses to maximise their revenue-making potential. Accessing cloud service has never been easier with the implementation of low latency networks. A wide range of data and relevant information can be uploaded and shared through cloud-based collaborations, in turn, simplifying business operations significantly.

Common Causes of High Mobile Network Latency

Maintaining low latency can be a difficult target for mobile operators to achieve as it depends on numerous variables. Here are some of the foremost aspects that hinder in fulfilling low latency requirements:

A. The Distance Covered by Data Packets

The distance between the smartphone user and the nearest network server can significantly affect latency standards. An increase in distance between the two variables concerned will adversely affect latency.

Conventionally, users experience low latency when the geographical distance between the servers or databases is within close proximity of the mobile device. Data packets having a shorter distance to cover will automatically transmit back to the user faster. 

The increase in distance affects the Round Trip Time [RTT] resulting in a few milliseconds delay. The general size of the page being accessed by the user concerned may also affect latency levels.

Must Read: UK’s 5G Conundrum – Majority of Brits Still Lack Access to 5G

B. The Web Page Wireframe

The wireframe of a website also determines the latency level. Web pages containing large volumes of content coupled with high-quality images will demand more loading time. Moreover, network congestion may escalate frustration levels while accessing such websites as the browser struggles to screen large content productively.

C. The Medium of Transmission

The medium of transmission exposed to data packets also determines latency. Data packets reach the final server through electrical signals monitored by copper cables, fibre cables, wireless connections, or complicated web networks that incorporate diverse transmission mediums. 

Wireless networks tend to generate high latency when compared with light waves through fibre cables. The medium of transition is therefore also responsible for determining latency levels.

D. Issues Experienced by the Final User

Conventionally, high latency is experienced when the mobile network concerned is crippled by technical issues. However, such complications may also stem from the final user when the independent mobile device has low memory or is restricted by inadequate CPU cycle proving to be incompatible with the RTT.

E. Physical Barriers

Other physical barriers due to the use of substandard hardware such as switches, routers, and Wi-Fi servers can impact latency levels. External factors such as firewalls, load balancers, and security devices can also adversely affect mobile latency.

Identifying Solutions to Overcome High Mobile Network Latency

Overcoming high mobile network latency can be achieved by implementing the following solutions:

A. Reducing Distance from Servers

The aggregate distance between the final user and the cell tower is identified as the primary contributor to high latency issues. The further away a user is located from a cell tower, the longer the distance data packets have to travel.

This aspect leads users to experience unstable or slow connections. The issue has escalated due to the presence of various physical barriers as well. Smartphone users must ensure to track the coverage map of the responsible carrier network to find relevant solutions and enjoy low latency benefits.

B. Congested Network

Network congestion in a specific geographical location hinders from achieving low latency levels. This issue is generally experienced when a large number of users try to access a single network extended to a defined location. Busy cities or corporate areas are exposed to this limitation the most as the server reaches its maximum bandwidth.

Hence, problems related to lags, high ping rates, packet losses, dropped calls, and delays are experienced during peak hours catering to a large audience base. However, subscribing to a 5G or 5G SA network can offer immediate relief as they provide wider coverage.

C. Performance of the Mobile Device

Individuals using an older smartphone are more likely to be restricted by high latency levels. Users who choose not to update device configurations will also face similar issues. Additionally, smartphones with low battery levels may also experience high latency.

Thus, increasing buffering time, screen freezing, and experiencing lagging app interfaces. Smartphone users must ensure to update their device software when the option is made available. Deactivating the Background App Refresh feature and clearing cookies may also assist in improving device performance.

D. Updating Application Configuration

The majority of mobile applications allow users to update independent app features to enhance user experience. Individuals can monitor data usage, change their quality preferences, and customise security features in almost every app. However, these preferences may also increase latency levels in the long run.

Features concerning buffering, encryption, and compression are included to manage and protect user information. However, these additional layers create barriers to effective data transmission. Users can personalise application settings by deactivating encryption, activating low latency mode, and readjusting resolution intensity.

E. Network Configuration

Specific network configurations may also affect latency quality. For instance, specific networks give priority to voice over video data over others. This factor may lead to uneven latency proportions depending on the activity initiated by the concerned user. Individuals should update network or APN settings to balance latency by activating QoS, triggering DNS, and deactivating VPN [if in use].

Other external factors that disrupt latency standards include adverse weather conditions, network outages, and natural disasters. Technical issues experienced by the carrier network responsible also contribute to experiencing high latency. Thus, the mobile operators responsible must employ quality infrastructure to elevate customer experience.


The demand for networks offering low latency has reached new heights as businesses can maintain real-time communication across various spheres. Benefits such as minimal communication delays, improved reliability, and optimum customer satisfaction assist corporations to boost performance.

A low-latency network acts as a direct catalyst that propels businesses to the stratosphere of success. To experience unparalleled coverage and blistering fast internet speed, be sure to collaborate with Talk Home Mobile. The EE-powered network offers the widest reach in the UK paired with affordable data bundles.

Embrace the new 5G trend by joining hands with Talk Home Mobile. Visit the official website of Talk Home to avail detailed information.


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