Ever since its rollout in April 2019, you’ve probably seen numerous news articles and ads about the next-generation 5G service. Apart from allowing faster data transfers, few people know the difference between 5G and 4G services. Let’s take a simplified look at what’s on offer and how it works.
5G phone features you should consider:
Better coverage: While 5G services are still new, the big wireless carriers are already trying to maximize their coverage to be ready for future demand. Most carriers should offer nationwide coverage by the end of the year.
Blazing speeds. 5G handsets will be equipped with newer technology hardware that can allow peak data transfer of up to 7.5Gbps. Even though ultra-high-speed data is currently only offered in a few cities, carriers plan to extend it throughout the US.
Lower latency: The time lag that exists between when you start an action and till the network responds is called latency. 5G enabled devices will cut this lag and offer better efficiency, especially for cloud-based apps.
Future-proof devices: With people holding on to their phones for longer than average, a 5G handset with its next-generation tech is less likely to become redundant in the next few years.
So, how does 5G work?
Wireless data is transferred using radio signals. The two radio signals used for 5G are called millimeter waves ( or mmWave) and sub-6GHz. The latter can be further divided into low-band and mid-band.
The sub-6Ghz bands are used to transmit 5G services across vast distances, and their speeds are not much faster than the current 4G services. For now, this band is generally used by most carriers to increase their network coverage. The super high-speed data transfers, up to 50 times the 4G speeds that function on the mmWave are restricted to shorter distances. They also require more hardware installation for a good network.
As 5G technology is still in its infancy, 5G handsets are costly to purchase. Few manufacturers have hinted that newer models will be available in the below $1000 range in just a few month’s time. Upgrading hardware in cities and towns to support 5G services takes time, and even in places where the service is offered, speeds will vary till 5G is established nationwide.
As carriers adopt and upgrade to 5G, we can expect to see the development of better-augmented reality apps and apps that can broadcast HD quality video in real-time. This is especially significant during live games at stadiums or other sporting events. HD quality streaming services are sure to benefit as much as customers with the implementation of super-fast wireless data services. 5G services are slated to be more consistent than the older 4G service and carriers may develop plans to offer dedicated and reliable connections for a fee. While 4G led to the development and success of taxi apps and social media, 5G may do the same for other businesses. Before upgrading, check for the availability of 5G services and various plans offered in your area. It may be beneficial to hold off purchasing an upgrade until newer models are launched in the next few months. With the technology of the future now available at our fingertips, it’s time we catch up and future-proof ourselves too.