Every few years we get to experience the next big step in technological innovation regarding cellular internet access, and luckily enough for us, it’s usually got a number attached so we can keep track. Mobile phones have had internet access since the late 1990s, however this was only available on cutting-edge models and took an age to open even the most basic webpage.Since mobile deviceshave become more prominent in everyday life, and the internet with it, providers have sought to increase connectivity and speed – so we jumped from 3G to 4G, which is the service we all know and love today. But what’s next? 5G of course!
In this article we’ll fill you in on everything there is to know about 5G internet for mobile phones including where it’s currently running, which phones will have it, what it offers, and how much it’s going to cost you. With all of this information, you’ll be more than ready for when 5G finally goes mainstream.
What’s the Difference Between 4G and 5G?
With slightly betterhandsets being released every year with a slightly different numeral in the name, and the latest decimal software updates bringing no real changes, it’s easy to think that the jump to 5G will just result in a marginal increase to internet speed. However, that assumption would be incorrect.
Believe it or not, 4G is over a decade old and while it’s seen improvements in 10 years, it’s ready for an upgrade. On a basic 4G network you can send texts, get internet access, and stream and download HD videos with relative ease. On a 5G network, you’ll get all of this, as well as the ability to streamUltra-HD and 3-D video, and connect to ‘smart home’ devices. In terms of a difference in speed, a decent 4G network would take around 6 minutes to download a full 3-D movie, while estimates suggest a 5G mobile phone could do it in just 6 seconds.
Simply put, 5G is noticeably faster than 4G networks with rough estimates predicting that it could have a download speed of 1 – 10GB/s compared to the existing 300MB/s. Furthermore,it’s compatibility with a variety of new technologies – especially smart homes – couldfundamentally change the way with interact with our phones in general.
When and Where Will 5G be Available?
Now that you know what 5G offers, no doubt you’re keen to get your hands on it. However, it’s not particularly clear when 5G will be available in the UK. While some countries such as South Korea, Japan, China, and the United States have made claims that 5G networks will be available by the end of 2018, it’s more likely that we won’t be seeing mainstream use until 2019. However, according to the UK government, the mass roll-out of 5G networks acrossGreat Britain won’t happen until 2020.
Despite this current plan, Vodafone are running a number of 5G trials in UK cities later this year, in preparation for the mass launch. So if you live in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, or Manchester, there’s every chance that you could benefit from the pilot scheme.
How Much Will 5G Cost?
Like all new technologies, 5G is going to be quite expensive when it first comes on the market. This is mainly due to the fact that mobiles will have to be more powerful to get the most out of the network – and the more powerful the phone, the greater the cost. While nothing official has been released by manufacturers regarding the price of handsets with 5G compatibility, it’s safe to assume that new models will cost the same, if not more, than the iPhone X did at launch. Of course, this will vary depending on the make and model of the phone, and it’s likely that some mid-tier smartphones will offer 5G at a slightly lower price.
Furthermore, the introduction of 5G could increase rates for comprehensive mobile phone insurance. Premium prices already increase when an improved device hitsthe market – for example, at loveit coverit an iPhone X costs £10.99 a month to insure, compared to £8.99 for an iPhone 8. With the mass implementation of 5G across the network, and new phones released to be compatible,it’s likely that insurance premiums will increase as a result.
Which Phones Will Have 5G?
As previously mentioned, phones will have to be specifically compatible with 5G in order to access the network, so any phone bought before 2020 will only have 4G. With this being the case, it’s very likely that you’ll have to buy a brand-new model in order to reap the benefits of 5G – better get saving!