What is 5G, how fast is it and how is it rolling out across the US and UK?

If you buy a compatible phone, fancy paying a little more for your phone contract and live within a large urban area, the chances are good that you can be using 5G by the end of 2019.

In the US, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon 5G is now live in certain cities while in the UK EE’s initial 5G network is live with Vodafone UK 5G live from 3 July

As well as the first part of the network rollout, we’ll also be seeing a lot of 5G phones launching during the remainder of the year. Several 5G devices are already announced and on sale.

So come with us while we explain the key players in 5G, why it’ll probably be coming to your next phone (definitely the one after that) and how it can revolutionise home broadband, too.

What is 5G?

5G is the next evolution in mobile phone networks. In the last two decades we’ve had the launch of 3G, then 4G, and now 2019 will see the launch of 5G which will roll-out significantly faster than 4G.

With a new network comes new capabilities, from broadband-like speeds on your phone, improved downloading and uploading speeds, and for IoT (Internet of Things) the ability for companies to control devices remotely in a much more efficient and faster way than currently possible.

By 2024 there will be over 1.5 billion of us connected to 5G, according to Ericsson, a company that makes some of the infrastructure that will make all this possible. That journey is kicking off now with the first 5G networks. 

Naturally, there will be a price premium for 5G, even if Vodafone has suggested it will come at no extra cost for existing customers. Analyst Paolo Pescatore says that “ultimately, consumer demand for 5G is unproven. Asking them to pay a premium will be challenging.

Pescatore suggests that networks need to explain clearly to users the benefits of 5G as well as what bundled extras or benefits they can get with 5G deals. He also suggests that prices will fall. “The initial premium will quickly erode as we’ve seen with previous generations.”

HTCHTC 5G Hub image 1

What are the benefits of 5G?

The biggest noticeable benefits will be speed. 5G is expected to deliver somewhere between 80-100Mbps meaning you’ll get home broadband-like speed wherever you are. That’s going to make a huge difference when it comes to downloading movies, large files, or playing games and for many will mean they could theoretically ditch their home broadband altogether. Think of movie streaming as seamlessly as music streaming currently is.

Another huge benefit is about how quickly you’ll be able to push data back up to the network. 4G has always been about getting data – streaming movies or music for example – but with 5G the network will be able to handle all this data much more efficiently. That improved “latency” opens up plenty of possibilities.

That could be new augmented reality experiences, PC-quality gaming on your mobile with “zero lag”, or having multi-way video calling without any issues.

Things should also get better on the train and in large populated areas as the 5G network will be better at coping with your movement and when lots of people are connecting to the network at a football game for example.

Beyond general consumer needs, a 5G network will also allow the communication between autonomous cars remotely, a connected traffic infrastructure, and remote factories working without local intervention.

Pocket-lintWhich 5g Phones Are Coming In 2019 image 1

What 5G devices will there be?

Several 5G phones are now available depending on network including the Samsung S10 5GLG V50 ThinQ, Oppo Reno 5G and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 5G.

We’re keeping track of all the 5G phones that are coming in 2019 in a separate feature.

5G will also be coming to your home, should you want it – 5G routers are an alternative to fixed line broadband. AT&T is already selling the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot ($499) in the US with a monthly subscription of $70 for 15GB of 5G data a month.

We’re going to see more of these devices such as the HTC 5G Hub with Alexa. There’s also a Huawei 5G CPE Pro router, too. The HTC and Huawei devices will be coming to various UK networks. 

What carriers will offer 5G in the US?

Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all launching 5G in the US and some are already offering 5G services in a handful of areas. 

Sprint 5G

Sprint is focusing on initial roll-out in these major US cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. It’s due to come to Los Angeles, New York City (Midtown and Lower Manhattan), Phoenix and Washington, DC in the next few weeks. 

source : http://www.pocket-lint.com

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