5G Guide jump links
In this regularly updated post, we've pulled together a series of features that provide an extensive overview of 5G, from the hottest handsets, to articles explaining the underlying technology behind the next revolution in mobile connectivity.
5G will have an impact on almost every area of our business and personal lives. In many parts of the country, 5G will completely replace cabled broadband, and an increasing number of devices in our homes and neighbourhoods will become ‘cloudified’.
With a potential 10-20 fold increase in download speeds, how, where, and when we consume and access data will be revolutionised by 5G. And with latencies dropping from 50 milliseconds for 4G, to just one millisecond via a 5G connection, we will essentially have real-time mobile connectivity for the very first time in human history. Increases in speed, and this massive drop in latency, will lead to transformative change within mobile gaming, retail, teletriage, communications, and beyond.
Below, we've provided you with a guide to every area of 5G, and will be adding to it as new use cases, technology, and products make their way into the market.
While speeds have increased and latency has dropped, the technology underpinning these networks works in the same way it always has and it’s reached a breaking point. In this feature you'll discover how 5G technology promises to solve this by overhauling how a wireless network looks and works, not only for today’s devices but to futureproof the network against surging demand.
We also showcase the different varieties of 5G “flavours”, which depend on where on the spectrum they lie, and the technology behind them.
What is 5G? Discover the use cases
It’s important to ask the question ‘What is 5G?’, because despite 5G sounding like a boring network upgrade, the move from 4G to 5G is actually less like an upgrade, and more like a full-scale transformation (resembling the move from PC to tablet or wearable, rather than PC to laptop)
5G’s increased speed and consistency, as well as latency reduction, promise to disrupt both traditional and digital sectors, paving the way for automated vehicles, smart cities, automated factories, and a new wave of business communications.
5G Dangers: the fact and fiction
In recent months, thousands of people protested in the Swiss capital Bern over the danger of 5G , with the Belgian government halting a 5G test in Brussels earlier this year. On top of this, members of parliament in the Netherlands have asked the government to examine 5G more closely. In short, concerns about the health implications of 5G are gaining traction.
5G technology - promising high speeds, lower latency, and the activation of the Internet of Things (IoT) - is still hugely controversial. Citizen groups and some scientists argue that radio frequency (RF) energy exposure - particularly the high frequency part of the spectrum used by 5G – is dangerous to people and the environment.
5G Internet: will it replace fibre
The idea that a mobile network could replace a fixed connection at home or in the office is not a new one. Most modern smartphones now support tethering or personal hotspot features, with 3G and 4G operators also offering ‘Mi-Fi’ products.
However, previous generations of mobile data have been constrained by limitations that simply do not apply to fixed broadband. A mobile connection simply could not compete in terms of speed, while data restrictions have been a necessary measure to maintain overall quality for all users on the network. But could 5G be set to change all of this forever?
The UK Government has big ambitions for the majority of the population to be covered by a 5G signal by 2027. As mobile network operators launch new services - including EE 5G, Vodafone 5G, and Three 5G - much of the debate surrounding the network has been around the security risks it represents.
The security of the UK’s telecom networks is at the top of the agenda for the government. As 5G opens up more opportunities, the reality is that it is becoming an increasingly attractive target for cyber criminals, as it increases the available threat surface along with the consequences of any damage inflicted.
We've gathered together the best 5G deals on phones overall before selecting the best deals for the key individual handsets. These deals will constantly change, so do check beck if you can't find what you want.
Also expect both the structure and cost of deals to change as we move into 2020, due to various factors - wider network rollout, increased interest in 5G from consumers and businesses and even the fallout Brexit if you live in the UK.
We'll also see a lot more 5G devices debut early next year, too.
5G is here, but with super-fast networks spreading, only those with a 5G-capable smartphone can join in the communications revolution. Expected to eventually deliver up to 20 times the speed of 4G, 5G phones are now on the market, with most major manufacturers – aside from Apple – having by now issued their debut 5G phones. An estimated 10 million smartphone users will be using 5G phones by the end of 2019. But will you be one of them?
Whichever 5G network you choose, they all offer something a little bit different in terms of coverage and how they're planning on rolling out 5G.
One area a lot of the networks have in common is the selection of phones - especially between the UK networks where the offering is very similar.
Let's run through each of the key US and UK networks one by one and check out where they are in terms of their 5G availability.
The fifth generation of mobile network technology is almost upon us, promising to bring stable connections and much faster data downloads. Whatever your smartphone can do now, 5G technology promises to do it much faster and better. The new network technology has arrived on a small scale already, but is set to launch fully in 2020. Much like 4G, 5G will certainly become the industry standard eventually - which is big news for the stock market. Currently, the 5G market is valued at $131bn (£106bn), with analysts predicting growth of 111% over the next five years.