5G is paving the way to new global communication and connection but it’s going to take some time to get there.
What is 5G?
5G is the 5th generation mobile network technology and successor to our current 4G connectivity. Starting in 2018, major mobile carriers started rolling out and testing 5G infrastructure in select cities across the nation. In the years following, all major carriers are now rapidly working on building their own 5G infrastructure to be the first nationwide offering. Beyond the US, countries and providers around the world are fiercely competing to have the best and fastest 5G network available. This push is driven by the firm belief that 5G will fuel transformative new technologies for consumers, industries, and businesses.
5G is all about speed. Designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. Faster speeds, increased bandwidth, and the capability to handle more connected devices than existing 4G networks means no more spotty service when you’re in a crowded area. 5G will also enable even more connected devices like smart toothbrushes and self-driving cars, some of many innovations that we expect in years to come.
How do I get 5G?
To take advantage of 5G you’ll need a 5G device. It’s very likely you’ve started seeing commercials and ads on TV and online for new 5G devices touting its speed and connectivity. But – it’s important to keep in mind 5G is only offered in very few select cities and locations across the US and globally. If you’re due for an upgrade it might be worth investing in a 5G device, but we expect a bigger push in the next few years to get the most out of your switch. It’s also important to note that some providers are displaying connections as 5G E. But 5G E is NOT 5G, it’s 4G “rebranded” so it’s important to keep an eye out for dishonest practices in areas without proper coverage. There have also been reports of decreased battery performance and limited upload speeds on these 5G devices. Through our research, we ultimately recommend holding off for now while this technology develops in order to make the most out of your 5G experience to come.
How does 5G work?
Simply put, 5G works on a higher frequency than 4G networks. This higher frequency inherently means the range of 5G networks is less than 4G and delivers best with a direct line of sight. This means any trees, buildings, even rain potentially, could negatively affect the quality of the connection.
So what does this mean? Because 5G has a smaller range, it will require more nodes in order to deliver and connect to devices across cities. As these devices move and travel they will continuously connect to closer 5G nodes rather than the current 4G towers. As you can imagine this could take years and years to fully develop with huge investments from mobile carrier companies to add 5G nodes throughout the country.