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What is 5G? A Complete Guide

5G connectivity has been around for at least 3 years, and the latest handsets are primed to harness the power of next-generation connectivity. So if you’re in the market for an upgrade, this is the guide to read if you want to know more about 5G, how fast it is, whether 5G is worth it and how to get it. Plus, we’ll compare 4G vs. 5G and give you a breakdown of what’s changed.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network. This is the latest iteration of the technology that allows us to make phone calls and access the internet on our wireless devices. 5G is designed to deliver faster download speeds, better signal strength and call quality, reduced latency times, and much faster, more reliable, and more capable service than its predecessor, 4G.

If you want to know how it might impact your day-to-day digital activities, 5G allows instant streaming and prevents buffering, so expect fewer interruptions and better picture quality for video calls.

How fast is 5G?

There are a lot of factors that could impact your 5G speeds, including where you are, what device you’re using, what 5G network you’re connected to, and how many others are connected, too.

Those variables aside, 5G has been created to deliver peak data rates up to 20Gbps and a latency time (the time taken to open a downloaded file) of one millisecond. Download speeds are expected to reach up to 10Gbps and you’ll be able to stream media and play games in higher resolutions, such as 4K. You’ll also be able to upload media faster than ever before.

4G vs. 5G: how do they compare?

5G vs. 4G: speed
Perhaps the most notable difference between 4G and 5G is speed. 4G mobile networks currently offer maximum download speeds of 300Mbps, compared to 5G’s max. 10Gbps – that’s over 200 times faster. While a 4G connection can take around five minutes to download an HD movie, 5G network speeds can manage this in under 40 seconds.

5G vs. 4G: latency
4G has a latency of 50 milliseconds compared to 5G’s one millisecond – that’s 50 times better than 4G. Forget waiting for your phone to respond to your commands.

5G vs. 4G: capacity
Another benefit of 5G is its increased capacity. As it stands, all mobile networks use radio waves to transfer data, but 5G will use higher frequencies than 4G to do this. Higher frequencies mean larger bandwidths, and larger bandwidths mean more capacity to use data – like using apps or streaming and downloading media – with less existing cellular data clutter than 4G.

The higher frequencies of 5G can also be used next to other wireless signals without causing any interference. This means that 5G will really work well in high-traffic, highly crowded areas, as it isn’t affected by the signals around it. 5G makes data more accessible to you, faster than ever before.

5G also uses wavelengths differently than 4G. As it stands, 4G emits radio waves in all different directions, but 5G uses them linearly, allowing for smoother performance and a more reliable connection with less signal interference.

When will 5G be nationwide in the UK?

5G is being rolled out in the UK in stages, across various locations, and different mobile networks have different roll-out schedules. The entire UK will eventually receive 5G coverage. 4G won’t be replaced completely, but it will be used significantly less.

To find out more about upgrading to a 5G ready mobile phone for your business, contact us today by clicking here.

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