A decade has passed since the launch of 4G, and as we look to the future, it’s clear that mobile technology will need to continue to improve to facilitate big changes in our society. The next iteration of which is 5G, due to launch in certain areas before the end of 2019. The speeds which will be available on 5G are estimated to be between 10GB and 20GB per second, making downloads, streaming videos, and video communication a breeze. But is the change worth it? Let’s explore.

Older handsets

When the networks 3G and 4G were first released, users had to purchase a new handset. Consumers who had already bought expensive handsets using the older networks found themselves stuck tied to a 24-month long contract.

Planning for the future is never easy but if you are considering taking out a plan check to see that 5G is compatible and whether the mobile network will offer 5G as an add-on. There are a limited number of handsets which can use the technology at present. Mobiles phones which can currently utilise 5G include the Samsung Galaxy Note Plus and the LG V50 Thin. Hence technology is still very much in its infancy.

Speeds

Even if you’re lucky enough to own a 5G handset, it can take time for networks to roll out the coverage across the whole of the country. The plan for a 5G network is to make use of existing towers which were used to power 4G. The reality is you might find yourself outside one of the major cities currently able to make use of 5G. Even if you’re on a 5G contract, you might discover 4G is the only data connection available, at least until 2020.

Price point

Making use of 5G communications will come at a price. If you are a casual streamer or a social media user, you may not benefit from the increase 5G communication offers. The higher speeds would be more beneficial for those planning to download large chunks of data in minimal time. The groups which would most likely fall under the bracket of heavy users include software developers.

Making the transition to 5G could be worth it if you are using mobile applications which require faster speeds to operate. For the everyday user, holding off and letting this technology develop first could save you money and disappointment.

Photo: 101_0691 by raybdbomb licensed under Creative Commons 4.0