What is 5G and what is all the fuss about?

If you keep up to date with technology and what is going on in the mobile space, you will have heard a lot of hype about 5G. But what s it all about and what will it do for us? If you have 4G, that is likely fast enough for most use, so what will 5G bring us?

Verizon are already offering 5G services in some parts of the country and AT&T have been trialing it. Dave’s Computers in New Jersey have been keeping an eye on what’s been going on as we are always interested in what’s around the corner. This is what you can expect when 5G networks arrive.

What is 5G?

The new 5G network takes 4G and turns it up to 11. It uses next generation hardware and software to deliver faster speeds. It splits the signal over three frequencies, meaning more devices can connect more quickly and access data at a much faster rate. The routers and modems that power 5G are able to process data up to 257 times faster than 4G LTE signals.

At the moment, the fastest 4G connection is around 19Mbps. The fastest 5G connection hasn’t been found yet but averages around the 1Gbps mark. That’s as fast as Google Fiber but on your mobile. That means being able to download a movie in seconds, being able to watch UHD on your phone or tablet and genuinely being able to replace your fixed line broadband with a 5G connection.

While speed is the headline for 5G, it isn’t just about that. It is also about capacity. With the Internet of Things taking off in a big way and more of us owning phones and mobile devices than ever, the increase in connected cars and homes, mobile networks needed all the help they could get in being able to serve all of these devices. That’s where 5G comes in.

The networks that power 5G are capable of supporting up to 1 million devices per square kilometer. For somewhere like New Jersey, that’s a lot of devices all about to achieve superfast speeds all of the time.

When can I get 5G?

As I mentioned at the top, Verizon are gradually rolling out 5G contracts and AT&T are testing their own network. Other operators are doing the same and the first 5G phones are beginning to break cover. I wouldn’t rush out to get a 5G contract just yet though as the only phones capable of using it haven’t been released yet and are estimated to cost over $1,500!

The Sprint boss said 5G contracts will likely cost between $60 to $80 a month to begin with. That’s the same with most new technologies. Companies need to recoup their R&D money quickly so they can move on to other discoveries. We end up paying for that by being early adopters.

The rollout of 5G services across the country will accelerate next year but I don’t imagine it will be everywhere until 2020 at least. We might get it here sooner but it will cost a fortune. Like any new technology, only those early adopters who absolutely have to have the latest of everything are going to want to pay the premium involved in early 5G connections.

I am excited for 5G. I think it could revolutionize the way we buy broadband and mobiles and look forward to gigabit speeds. However, I am also resigned to waiting at least another year before I get it. In the meantime, 4G gets the job done.