Photo by MARJAN GRABOWSKI
Everyone’s talking about the birth of 5G, which promises faster speeds and increased levels of connectivity, it’s much-anticipated arrival is just over the horizon. But what is 5G, and what’s all the fuss about?
What is 5G?
We’ve had 3G, we’ve had 4G… and now we’re waiting on 5G. So, what is 5g exactly? Essentially, 5G is fifth-generation connectivity between your phone and the internet. As with most network upgrades, the primary focus is on increased speeds, but there are some other benefits that come with the new technology.
5G vs 4G: How do they compare?
- It’s between 10 and 20 times faster (5G connection should enable users to download a whole HD movie in about 10 seconds).
- It reduces latency, i.e. is the lag that occurs when changing tasks. With 5G, this is virtually non-existent.
- It can support more devices. With IoT (Internet of Things) in our homes and mobile devices all around us, 5G promises to support the increasing demand for fast connectivity.
- It works everywhere! Over time, in a battle between 5G vs 4G, 5G is expected to advance wireless networking by bringing fibre-like speeds and extremely low latency capabilities to almost any location.
Who is using 5G already?
Although in its infancy, 5G is being tested and used in several places around the world.
- United Kingdom: The UK’s largest operator, EE plans to launch 5G this year. Starting with London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, the rollout will continue throughout the year.
- USA: 5G fixed wireless broadband internet is available in a few places through Verizon, C Spire and Starry. Verizon and AT&T even have mobile 5G services available in a few cities. Predictions suggest that by 2023, up to 32% of North America’s mobile connection will be on a 5G network.
- Canada: According to Telus, 5G will be available to its customers in 2020 – starting with those in Vancouver.
- South Korea: Mobile 5G hit South Korea in 2018, thanks to SK Telecom, LG Uplus and KT. Initially, only select businesses were given access. On April 5th, users of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G were also welcomed under into the 5G fold.
When will we get 5G?
Unfortunately, the cell towers we currently have are not capable of producing 5G. This means that, over the next few years, many will have to be upgraded or replaced.
According to 5G.co.uk when they were asked when will we get 5G, they said “5G will be launched in the UK during 2019 by the four main mobile network operators. The precise dates have so far not been confirmed but three of the four operators have confirmed their launch locations. However, broad availability of 5G whereby most consumers can access it is still several years away.”
Some estimates forecast that by 2024, 5G subscriptions will reach 1.5 billion. So, all we can definitively say is: 5G is coming! It’ll be introduced in major cities first, it’s going to be exceptionally fast, but it might take some time to launch near you.
For official advice, dates and information on how 5G could affect you – check out the official website.
If you need a rental device for your business use ahead of the introduction of 5G, we have some great 4G mobile rental options available. Alternatively, talk to Hire Intelligence about the availability of equipment trials at minimal cost.