You don’t have to be a nerd or geek to know that 5G is an emerging technology that affects how mobile devices will operate in the future. 5G stands for the fifth (5) generation (G) of mobile networks, with the promise of being 100 times faster than 4G. But are people realizing the benefits of that promise right now? The answer is yes and no. Let’s take a look.
Most smartphones can run 5G without changing software or operating systems, since it uses the same radio frequencies as 4G. It just enables your phone and its cellular connection to go further.
The company Ericsson predicts that 100 million mobile subscribers will be able to realize a 5G connection in the U.S. in 2022. But what advantages should we really expect to see with this upgrade?
1. The improvement to speed won’t be blistering – at least not yet. The Washington Post reports that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all show minimal 5G speed increases compared to 4G in 2020 to 2021 – and 2022 may not prove much faster. For example, Verizon’s 4G download speed was 36 Mbps while 5G was a comparable 48 Mbps. Not too much to write home about there.
2. We will see a resurgence in the Internet of Things. The concept of IoT had its day a few years ago, but expect to see more about how 5G helps not only connect devices, but also create opportunities for sophisticated operations with those devices since 5G will be able to carry more data faster as well as compute faster, allowing more benefits for the user experience.
3. Coverage will improve. While speed increases won’t be too profound quite yet, coverage within specific geographies could improve up to 25% according to Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, in an interview with CNET. This improved coverage comes from the necessary allocation of Spectrum within the cellular networks required for 5G.
So, there is still plenty to be excited about when it comes to 5G. We just may not see all of its hype become a reality in 2022. And that’s okay, but the future of what this can offer us in the future is truly a game-changer.