It would be difficult to avoid the sudden rise of 5G. Phone providers and mobile networks have invested heavily in promotional banners and commercials, increasing the general public’s awareness of the 2020 technological revolution. At the dawn of a new decade, 5G already appears to be the rallying cry. 4G, which was first launched in Stockholm and Oslo in 2009, has been the gold standard of data for the past ten years.
We have become accustomed to its speed and reliability, and some countries, like Uzbekistan, are still in the process of implementing it. At this point, it is difficult to imagine just how significantly 5G could change our daily lives.
In summary, 5G networks promise to alter the way in which we use the internet from mobile devices. Faster download speeds, easier streaming ability and more generous data packages are all on the horizon.
But first, we need the hardware
At this point, it would be rare (if not unheard of) to encounter a working mobile phone greater than ten years old. We can, therefore, assume that any device, short of a Nokia brick, has 4G capability. But our current phones cannot simply connect to 5G. The transition will be a slow one, with early adapters queueing for the latest product launches – launches that are necessary, as every provider seeks to capitalise on the new data infrastructure.
Would a consumer be willing to pay $1,299 or $1,349 (the predicted costs of the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S20, respectively) just for faster connectivity? With WiFi nearly ubiquitous these days in major cities, smartphone providers will need to work harder to convince us to shell out the cash.
In other words, 5G will likely be yet another selling point of phones that can already sell themselves. Better cameras, bendable screens, more storage, faster processors, improved biometrics – anything to make the 5G price bump seem reasonable. At this point, 5G is the only guaranteed aspect of the next-gen phones, and that alone can’t sway a fairly apathetic consumer base.
Announcing the impending arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S20
Electronics giant, Samsung, is getting ready to launch its new Galaxy 20. If it goes to the previous form, it is likely to prove to be the standard against which all other devices will be measured. Its sales are sure to number in the millions within weeks of its release.
As soon as the launch happens, we all wait with bated breath to see how the US 5G network stands up to the test. It will expose whether the standard of the network will be all that is has been hyped up to be. Alternatively, it could point the finger at what many suspect is the frazzled mess of various standards, strategies and technologies that exists right now in the US.
The growth of the UK 5G network
The 5G network arrived in the UK last May. Initially, only EE and Vodafone had 5G plans up and running. The latest company to launch its 5G network offering is Sky Mobile. To date, UK 5G coverage is far from national. It means that even if you did pick up your S20 5G ready device, you won’t be able to take full advantage of its super-fast connectivity at present.
Current 5G network coverage
The EE network is the most prolific and covers 50 towns and cities, although Three says their network will cover 65 locations by the end of February. Vodaphone at present covers 37 towns and cities, Sky Mobile covers 21, BT 20, and following up is O2 with a meagre 6. You can check out which networks have launched 5G in your area or are about to, by clicking here .
If you want to be 5G ready right now – now is the time to get your order in for one of the new Galaxy S20s and try the 5G network out for yourself, but first, you might like to do some research to see its worth it, depending on where you live and work.