5G is the new buzz of the tech world. It’s the next generation of wireless internet that’s supposedly going to take the world by storm. With faster download speeds, wider coverage and instant secure connections to everything around us, the sky seems to be the limit. On a smaller scale network providers such as EE, O2 and Vodafone will allow you to download games, movies, apps and other software to your mobile a lot faster, streaming full HD movies in seconds. This is just the start, with this technology only just becoming available commercially there’s a lot of features that are yet to be created in order to make the most of this technology.
What is 5G?
5G, quite simply, is the next evolution and generation of the internet. It works by using high-level frequency waves at 1mm long allowing more waves to be transmitted, therefore more information can be shared. 5G is said to be 10x faster than the current 4G, however, this is likely to fluctuate, particularly in the early days. The waves are at a far higher frequency meaning there needs to be more transmitters. Without these transmitters, their strength could potentially be heavily reduced and the signal would struggle to travel over long distances and through solid objects.
As 5G develops, more and more devices will connect to the network. This will allow technology to become more automated as computer systems will be able to communicate with each other across 5G. The easy way to think of this is when a car is self-driving it will be connected to every other car on the road as well as traffic lights and other signs/signals. This will allow car travel to become a lot safer in the future as the machines have a much quicker reaction speed than humans do.
When will I be able to use 5G?
This depends on three main factors:
- Which network you’re with
- Where you’re located
- What phone you’re using
In 2019, 5G was first introduced to the UK but access to this service is still very limited. Companies are starting to utilise 5G in major cities such as London and Manchester, with usage spreading throughout the UK in 2020. Despite 5G being installed in specific cities this doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to use it. Access is dependant on your network; this is because mobile companies need to lock their new phone releases onto the 5G frequency. Some companies haven’t been as fast as others. An example phone brand that is slow to the 5G race is Apple, they’re not set to release a 5G ready phone until 2020, however, Samsung and Huawei already have 5G products out and available.
Is my provider 5G ready?
The first to bring 5G to their customers is EE, customers currently have access to 5G in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh. This service is due to expand to 10 other major cities throughout the year including Leeds and Newcastle. Their 5G plans start from £54 a month, this includes an OPPO Reno 5G phone with 10gb of data unlimited texts and data.
The only other network that is currently running 5G is Vodafone, their coverage is around 15 cities so far including London, Liverpool, Lancaster and Plymouth. With Vodafone there is only a choice of two mobiles that are 5G ready, these plans start at £56 a month with a £29 upfront cost including unlimited data, calls and texts. O2 and Three haven’t released any plans regarding 5G as of yet, however, they’re scheduled to come later this year with O2 claiming 5G on their network will be available in October.
For GiffGaff customers this new advancement might not be available for a while, as they’re a part of the O2 network and haven’t specified any dates or plans regarding 5G so users will have to sit tight to find out more. Giffgaff recently came under fire for overcharging their customers with figures totalling up to around £2.9m over the course of 8 years. Once this issue is resolved, it’s likely that 5G will be top of their list to ensure they’re up to date with their competitors.
To find out more about your network and how you ‘ll be affected by the change to 5G or wish to change to a network that can provide the ultrafast 5G then make sure to call and find out more information.