One of the hottest topics of discussion in the tech world today is surrounding 5G cellular data. Which cell provider will release 5G first? When will it be available? Will it work on your cell phone? We’ve got answers to all of these 5G questions and more!
What is 5G?
5G data is the next big breakthrough when it comes to smartphone Internet connectivity. The promise of 5G to come brings with it hopes of many improvements, particularly faster download and upload speeds.
Will you have 5G and when?
Of course you want faster Internet on your mobile device, but will you be able to get it? Most major cell phone providers have commented on the subject of 5G, but some are moving faster toward the innovation than others. AT&T claims that they will launch 5G for cellular devices in 2018. However, this will be a limited release to only about 12 cities. Yet, something to be weary of regarding AT&T is their latest advertisement of “5G Evolution”. Mobile networks are upping the ante on 4G and bringing many improvements to the technology in order to make the transition between 4G and 5G smoother. For this reason, AT&T is advertising increased speeds on their network through something they are calling the “5G Evolution”, which is, in fact, simply improved 4G. Don’t be fooled.
While AT&T is planning to launch 5G this year, Sprint claims it will be the first nationwide network to provide 5G. Some reports state that Sprint will be offering 5G in late 2019, putting Sprint and AT&T in competition to offer 5G to consumers first. Similarly, T-Mobile claims that 5G will be available to their customers in limited markets in 2019, with a nationwide roll out in 2020. Lastly, Verizon is planning a limited launch for 5G in homes later this year.
While all that sounds dandy, there is one major factor limiting these 5G rollouts: devices. Qualcomm claims that 5G capable phones will not be available until 2019.
So how would providers like AT&T launch 5G this year? The answer is pucks. Essentially a mobile hotspot, pucks will allow phones that are not yet 5G compatible to connect to the faster network. Verizon and AT&T are reportedly working on employing the pucks technology for their initial 5G launches.
What will 5G be like?
Another major benefit of 5G will be it’s lower latency, which means great responsiveness. Some believe that 5G will fulfill 1-millisecond latency, which would be 50 times faster than 4G.
Due to the lower latency, 5G networks will be able to handle more devices at faster speeds all at one time. Have you ever been in a jam-packed stadium while experiencing slow cell service? We can expect for that to never happen again thanks to the future of 5G and it’s improved latency. Similarly, the latency of 5G will allow for the expansion of multiple technologies including virtual reality and self-driving automobiles.
Despite these exciting improvements coming with the release of 5G, it won’t be everything it’s cracked up to be, at least not right away. Just like with 4G, there will be kinks to work out before 5G reaches it’s greatest potential for consumers, so it is best to keep your expectations low.