You have probably read and seen on the TV a lot of talk about how the introduction of 5G is going to revolutionise our lives over the next few years but may be puzzled as to what it actually is and how it will impact you. But, fear not! RCUK is on hand with our quick guide to answer your questions on 5G.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth, and latest, generation of mobile network technology that is faster than its immediate predecessor (4G) and works in a different way as well. Because 5G uses the higher radio spectrum frequencies between 30 GHz and 300GHz, it can only travel over short distances. This means it needs a different infrastructure to 4G to operate. In particular it requires a much larger number of smaller antennas (with a clear line of sight to each other).
As a result, it is an expensive investment for the network operators to implement, which is why we are seeing tie-ups between the likes of Vodafone and O2. It also means that it is likely to take years to get the UK coverage 4G currently has.
Is 5G faster than 4G?
It certainly is! Currently, 4G has a maximum download speed of 300 Mps (Megabits per second), although in reality, you would probably get a much slower rate than that. 5G is expected to provide download speeds of 10 and 50 Gps (Gigabits per second - Gps is 1,000 faster than Mps). So, considerably faster.
Will 5G benefit me?
Yes, because of the much faster download (and upload) speeds and an increased network capacity, it will give you:
- The ability to download and upload files, movies, music etc much faster; saving you time
- No lag with things like video conferencing and gaming
- More stable network connections when you are moving around
- A wider coverage
It is anticipated that it will also turbo-charge the adoption of IOT (internet of things) getting more devices likes cars, fridges etc connected.
When can I get 5G?
It depends on your network operator and where you are in the country:
- Vodafone is planning to roll it out in 16 UK cities by the end of 2019
- O2 will have 3 cities ready by the end of 2019
- EE will also have 16 UK cities by the end of 2019 and another 10 by the end of 2020
If you are keen to get going with 5G, contact us or call into one of our stores, our friendly and expert staff will be only too happy to help you.