Every new generation of wireless networks brings us faster speeds and more functionality for our smartphones. 1G delivered us the very first mobile phones, 2G gave us the ability to text, 3G allowed our phones to go online and we have 4G to thank for the internet speeds we have today.
With more and more people and devices connecting online, users are powering through data like never before using their mobile devices.
Now we’re looking towards 5G, the next and fifth generation of wireless, with the hopes that it brings us seamless connectivity.
what is 5G?
5G stands for the fifth generation of wireless technologies. This new wave of tech is set to deliver faster and more responsive internet, with the ability to connect multiple devices without compromising quality.
There is no doubt that 5G will transform the smartphone industry and the ways in which we consume data. It will soon leave our current 4G LTE network feeling as slow and irrelevant as 3G seems today. But it’s important to remember that 5G is very much still in the planning stage, with no formal standards being finalised yet.
how fast will it be? will i even notice a difference?
As the 5G standards are yet to be defined, its expected speeds all still pretty unclear. Obviously it’s going to be faster than 4G, but by how much? The 5G’s proposed download speeds are 1-10Gbps which is a lot faster than what 4G can provide - with 4G capability generally capping out at a maximum of 100/Mbps
But what does this actually mean for its users? To give you an example, on the 5G network you can expect to download a HD movie in under a minute, instead of the current 10-minute wait on the 4G LTE network. That’s faster than it takes to boil the kettle!
will 5G be expensive?
As 5G doesn’t exist yet it's hard to tell. At the very least, consumers will get a much better quality service for their money.
will 5G work on 4G phones?
When 3G reached our shores in 2003 it wasn’t the end for 2G, in fact some providers kept running 2G until earlier this year. This is expected to be the same for 5G. 4G phones should continue to work throughout the early implementation of 5G. And it’s probably more likely that you’ll end up buying a new smartphone long before 4G is decommissioned.
However, as the 5G frequencies differ from the 4G technology, you’re eventually going to have to get a new smartphone in order to access the 5G network. You will not be able to simply ‘update’ your 4G phone. It’s hoped that new phones coming onto the market in the next couple of years will have the necessary tech already built-in.
when will it be ready in Australia?
Most providers in Australia are aiming for 2020 as their widespread launch. We may see a handful of 5G networks available in 2019 in metropolitan areas. But as the 5G specifications haven’t even been set yet, it’s hard to know whether this will actually be true 5G.
what else can we expect to see with 5G?
The rollout of the 5G network will also enable the development of other new tech. Thanks to 5G we can expect mass scale device connectivity. Driverless cars will be able to interact with each other, creating smart roads and improving traffic.
There will be massive improvements in live-streaming virtual reality and a boost in cloud computing capabilities. As well as this, the IoT (Internet of Things) is sure to become even more present in our lives, making our homes smarter than we ever imagined. Soon we’ll be wondering how we ever lived without it.
While you’re waiting for 5G to become a reality, make sure you’re getting the most out of your 4G service and mobile plan.
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