The latest buzz in the world of mobile phone technology surrounds 5G, the fifth generation of mobile infrastructure. Given that data traffic is set to more than quadruple over the next five years, it’s a necessary step in ensuring that all of that data is able to travel quickly.
With the help of 5G, users will be able to stream in 4k and download entire movies in a matter of seconds. No longer will there be any network disruption for those trying to use their mobile internet in crowded venues, like sports arenas. And there are security advances to consider, too.
If you’re the sort of technophile that likes to live at the cutting edge, then you might be tempted to adopt a 5G-capable smartphone right from the word go. But whether this is worthwhile will depend on your personal circumstances.
5G is Fast
A 5G connection theoretically offers speeds of up to a whopping 10 Gbps. Whether these speeds are achievable in practice will depend heavily on the user’s location. In practice, an inner-city 5G user can expect speeds in the hundreds of megabytes, but that’s only once the infrastructure is in place.
5G will spread
As the technology becomes more widely adopted, providers will expend more and more effort in improving the infrastructure. If you already have a 5G-capable phone, you’ll be able to benefit from these improvements as soon as they happen. In the meantime, you’ll still be able to make use of the LTE infrastructure.
5G will have growing pains
Any technological transition of this magnitude is inevitably going to run into technical problems along the way, which will only be solved by rigorous EMC testing at every stage of the network, and a great deal of trial and error. The technology has still yet to become reliable, and you might run into patchy performance that falls well short of the advertised download speeds.
5G is expensive
At the moment, only the world’s most prestigious smartphones are able to access the 5G network. Which means, if you want to adopt early, you’ll be paying a hefty premium of more than £1000. For some, this price of entry might be justifiable – particularly if you’re living in the middle of London. For others, it might be a considerable barrier. If you wait, then you’ll find that the 5G technology filters quite quickly into the lower end of the market, and your initial investment will lose its value. Such is the price of early adoption!
As well as the cost of the handset, there’s a premium charged for data over a 5G network. You might find that your monthly bill goes up, even if you buy the phone outright. Naturally, you’ll need to go for an unlimited data package – otherwise, you could easily exceed your limit in a matter of seconds!