It has dominated news headlines for months – but what exactly is 5G?
You might have heard the term thrown about, but you may be left wondering exactly what it is and what it means for you.
But wonder no more as we cover all you need to know about the new mobile network:
WHAT IS 5G?
5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks’.
It is simply the fifth generation of mobile network that lets you call, text and get online from your smartphone.
The first generation mobile networks were introduced way back in the 1980s that were analogue and only carried voice.
In the 90s, 2G phones launched and they were digital, introducing text and picture messages.
The 2000s introduced 3G and saw video calling and mobile data come to prominence. The latest, 4G, was designed to support mobile internet and higher speeds for activities like video streaming and gaming.
HOW IS 5G DIFFERENT TO 4G?
Unlike previous generations of mobile networks, 5G is unlikely to be defined by any single form of technology.
It was increasingly be defined by radio frequencies and is set to be far faster and more reliable than 4G with greater capacity and lower response times.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF 5G?
The main benefit of 5G will be its speed.
It is reported to be able to reach speeds in excess of 1Gb/s in its early stages, with many experts thinking it could reach speeds of 10Gb/s eventually – 100 times faster than standard 4G.
It will also come with lower latency to eradicate delays, access to more and higher frequencies, and more.
WHEN WILL 5G ARRIVE IN THE UK?
5G has already begun to roll out in countries such as the US and South Korea, and Vodaphone and O2 have revealed they are planning to launch the network by the end of 2019.
Its initial launch will include cities in the most highly trafficked areas, with 5G phones only set to start selling towards the end of 2019/start of 2020.
Rollout in the UK was held back by a frequently delayed Ofcom spectrum auction, with the UK’s four major mobile networks stuck in a loop of arguments and legal challenges.
WILL I NEED A NEW PHONE?
Yes, you will need a new phone to enjoy the benefits of 5G.
It is expected that the first generation of 5G-ready phones will be expensive, yet you won’t be able to use them to their full potential in many places.
In February 2019 Samsung announced that its Galaxy S10 5G would be released during the second half of the year, and there are more announcements yet to come.