5G: The Next Generation

What you need to know about 5G

Time, as they say, moves ever onward. With that passage of time comes progress, and with that progress? The next generation of mobile network: 5G.

We’ve come a long way with mobile communications. In just under 150 years, we went from Alexander Graham Bell demonstrating his ability to “talk with electricity” to the launch of the 5G Mobile Network. From “Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you.” to having unlimited information and communication potential at our fingertips.

BUT WHAT IS 5G?

5G is the latest in the line of Mobile Networks. Starting with 1G delivering analogue voice in the 1980s, 2G in the 1990s introducing digital voice, 3G giving us mobile data, and 4G ushering in the era of mobile broadband, 5G has been designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before. 5G is a unified platform, faster and more capable than 4G, with more capacity, and lower latency.

HOW WILL 5G AFFECT ME?

Having been designed to do a variety of things, 5G allows for faster download speeds, lower latency, and more capacity and connectivity for billions of devices. This is especially so in the areas of virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). With 5G, you can access new and improved experiences, including near-instant access to cloud services, multiplayer cloud gaming, shopping with augmented reality, real-time video translation and collaboration, and more.

IS 5G EVERYWHERE?

Not quite. 5G is quickly covering the country with a much faster rollout and adoption when compared to 4G, but it isn’t everywhere just yet. You can check if your area is covered here

DO I NEED A NEW PHONE IF I WANT TO USE 5G?

Yes. Smartphones designed to support 5G are available with multiple carries across the world, but we are still in a transitional phase where not all phones will support 5G. You will need to check with your provider if they can provide a 5G capable phone or, if you upgraded or purchased new after April 2019, you can check on your phone if it is compatible. To do this, follow the instructions in the links below.

Android Users

iPhone Users

5G: MOBILE VS FWA?

As you may be aware, 5G is available as both a mobile service (mobile 5G) and as a fixed service (fixed wireless access, or FWA 5G). Mobile 5G is accessible via your phone from anywhere with the proper coverage, while FWA 5G works in a fixed location.

Both mobile 5G and FWA 5G provide the same thing: internet access. The key difference between the two is location. While mobile 5G allows for you to access the internet from you phone while on the go, FWA 5G is useful when you need internet in a single location, such as at home. Each form has its pros and cons, as with all technology.

Access anywhere is the biggest benefit to mobile 5G. While signal is dependant on your location, the benefit of having internet access for your smartphone, tablet, etc. while in your car or on the go is valuable in our fast-paced lives. However, you are dependant on mobile networks to deliver 5G which, as we have experienced with past generations, is not always reliable or cost-efficient.

Much as on-the-go access is a benefit of mobile 5G, the biggest advantage of FWA 5G is reliability. As we move more into remote working and connecting with others through the use of video calling, consistency is a must. Just as it is true that your at-home Wi-Fi will provide a more reliable connection than your mobile data, it is the same for 5G. However, with FWA 5G, your signal is limited to where the hardware is installed, limiting flexibility.

SO, DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE?

Not at all! This is not an either/or situation – much like you do currently with Wi-Fi and 4G, you can use both.

If you want to know more about 5G technology, and the benefits it could bring to your business, give us a call on 01372 453 232.

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