Picture this. You’ve just bagged a window seat on the train. You settle in, whip out your phone, and load up the latest episode of that show you’ve been bingeing, when all of a sudden – you guessed it – the dreaded spinning wheel. Sigh. With a 5G phone, you can wave goodbye to boring commutes, and hello to super-fast loading and uninterrupted streaming. That’s more like it.
What is 5G?
5G just means the 5th generation of wireless data connectivity (after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G). It doesn’t replace 4G completely – think of it like another layer. One that’s tons faster, more reliable, and loads better for downloading and streaming – even on a packed train or in a crowded bar.
A blast from the past
Back in the day, 1G and 2G connectivity let us make calls and send an SMS text message (remember telephone keypads?), while 3G introduced basic browsing and emails. 4G blew up social media, giving us new and exciting ways to connect – but it can slow down when things get busy. 5G changes the game completely. Watch this video to see how.
How fast is 5G?
Right now, 5G download speeds are around 100-200 megabits per second, but the aim is to boost this to a whopping 1 gigabit (that’s around 1000 megabits!) That’s like downloading an entire film in a few minutes, or streaming a Netflix show without a hitch. Cool, right? Your favourite games run a lot smoother too – and less lag means more high scores.
Do you need a 5G phone?
The short answer is yes. To make the most of 5G connectivity, you’re going to need a phone that can keep up. Unfortunately, older models just don’t have the right tech inside to take advantage of these new 5G speeds. If you want the full package, you’re going to need a 5G-ready phone, a 5G contract, and 5G coverage.
The good news is, half of our phones now come 5G-ready! You can check out the Apple iPhone 12 and Apple iPhone 13 handset ranges as well as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra amongst other 5G ready handsets.
What’s 5G coverage like in the UK?
Right now, you can access the 5G network in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester from all four main UK networks (EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone). By 2025, it should be available pretty much everywhere. So, if you upgrade now, you’ll be all set for when it fully kicks in.
Q: Are there any health risks or dangers associated with 5G?
A: Studies from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the UK Health Protection Agency have all shown that 5G isn’t harmful to health. It’s just like any other existing mobile technology, or things we use every day, such as TVs, Wi-Fi routers and microwaves.
Q: How does 5G work?
A: It works the same way that 4G does now, it just uses a higher frequency that can carry more information at a faster rate.