As we all know from connecting to the web while on the go; the faster the connection speed, the better. And as superfast 4G launched way back in 2012, it's about time for an upgrade. Luckily, 5G is on the horizon, with plans to begin rolling it out to major cities by mid-2019.
Let's take a look at what 5G means exactly, and which areas can expect it first.
What is 5G?
5G stands for fifth generation, and it refers to more than just the speed of your smartphone's internet connection. 5G concerns calls and texts too, and promises a faster, more responsive and overall more reliable mobile network.
As you might have guessed, 5G will be much quicker than both 3G and 4G. To put things into context, the current maximum 4G download speed is 50Mbps. 5G has already demonstrated speeds that are 100 times faster, meaning you'll be looking at broadband-like speeds directly on your smartphone. You could download a HD movie in seconds, stream 4K without any interruptions and use multiple devices on the same 5G network with ease.
But why is 5G so much faster than existing mobile networks? Essentially, a mobile network functions by transferring information over radio waves. Every mobile network generation (from 1G up to the new 5G) is assigned a specific frequency band within the electromagnetic spectrum. The higher and less occupied the frequency band, the better.
4G networks occupy a frequency band of up to 20MHz. 5G will be able to deliver lightning-fast speeds because it will occupy a currently unused frequency band of up to a whopping 6GHz.
When will 5G be available?
Where you live, and the network you're with, will affect when 5G will be available to you. 5G will be launched in stages across the UK, with the first UK roll-out expected by mid-2019.
You'll need a 5G compatible phone, however, to be able to take advantage of the new technology. You can expect plenty of new launches in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled.
Which cities can you expect 5G first?
In the United States, 5G is actually already available in a select few test locations. Limited areas of Texas, Oregon and New Jersey can already enjoy high-speed mobile internet.
It can take a long time to switch an entire country over to 5G. Not only will the right tech need installing around the UK, but manufacturers need to catch up too.
However, EE announced that the first six UK cities to receive 5G will be London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. Following this, a further ten cities will be up next: Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Hull, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol