So, 5G has been around for a while now and it’s made mobile connections faster than ever. But if you’re still not sure what it’s all about, we’ve got a handy guide to help you figure it all out.
How is 5G different from 4G
You mean aside from the bigger number? Quite a lot actually. We’ll go over some of the main points below so you’ve got a better idea of the specifics, but the main take away is that 5G is much faster, while 4G has more reliable coverage. Read on to find out which boxes tick.
How fast are they?
4G was a major step forward for mobile connectivity in 2012, letting thousands of handheld devices download and stream content faster from almost anywhere. You’ll also probably find it’s available pretty much wherever you are when you use your data. So, it’s quick and reliable – sounds like a win-win, right?
Well, 5G takes things to a whole new level in terms of speed. It doesn’t exactly re-write the rulebook, but it does build on a solid foundation. Because it can access data so much faster, you’ll be able to enjoy better quality content on the go. That means higher resolutions and no stuttering when you’re playing games. The downside is that it’s not quite as widespread as 4G yet, but the technology is being rolled out to more and more areas as time goes on.
What networks support 4G and 5G?
Pretty much every network supports at least 4G, so you can access the internet through your data practically anywhere in the country on any network. So, no worries there. However, the same can’t be said for 5G, at least not yet. It’s still a fairly new technology, and only the UK’s four biggest providers offer coverage in a handful of places. That’s good news if you’re on O2, Vodafone or Three and you’ve upgraded to a 5G mobile already – you can access lightning-fast speeds in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.
But if you’re sticking with 4G for now, you’ll find it has many more options and is a bit more reliable at the minute. This may change by 2025 – that’s when the rollout of 5G is currently planned to be finished. Then you should be able to connect to 5G in as many places as 4G.
Why does capacity matter?
One of the biggest benefits of 5G is how many devices can connect at the same time. Whereas 4G can handle a few thousand at once, 5G ramps this capacity up to a whopping 1 million per square metre. That’s because it works on a higher frequency with much less interference, letting you browse and stream flawlessly even in really busy areas. This is particularly important since internet traffic grows by a lot every single year.
On the other hand, as more people migrate over to 5G the demand on 4G will naturally lessen. That gives older tech a bit of boost, so you might see slightly better performance if you plan on sticking with an older device.
What’s in store for the future?
There are definitely some exciting possibilities to think about as mobile tech gets more advanced. 4G absolutely still has its uses for smartphones, but 5G can go even further than that, especially when it comes to things like smart watches, smart speakers and smart home appliances. It has the potential to give you a fully connected lifestyle that you can control through your mobile, whether it’s
checking on your pets while you’re at work or having a chat with the postie through a smart doorbell. The possibilities are endless.
To sum up...
It might seem obvious, but 5G is the clear winner when you compare to two side by side. Having said that, there are advantages to sticking with 4G, but it’s also a good idea to think about the future too. Eventually, 5G will become the standard along with all the cool stuff like smart tech and a more connected lifestyle, especially since the internet already plays a massive role in our daily lives. For the time being though, 4G is a bit more reliable and has wider coverage, and you don’t really need to rush and upgrade immediately – 5G is still going to be around for years to come.