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What Is 5G, and Why Should I Care?

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Lewis Packwood on June 30, 2020

Find Your Internet - What Is 5G, and Why Should I Care?

When it comes to internet speeds, 5G leaves other networks in the dust. Here’s what you need to know about the networking term that’s been causing quite a buzz.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networking technology. In practical terms, it means faster mobile internet and much better network reliability.

How Fast is 5G?

Simply put, it’s super fast. In the United States, the average download speeds for 4G vary between around 15 megabits per second (Mbps) and 29 Mbps. But with 5G, we could eventually see speeds of over 1,000 Mbps—fast enough to download a high-definition movie in under a minute.

Today’s high-band 5G is limited to a handful of U.S. cities, while low-band 5G covers a much bigger range. The coverage and speed of your mobile internet will depend on your carrier.

What are the Advantages of 5G?

Compared to the 4G network that most homes and businesses are connected to, 5G can connect to many more unique devices at any one time. Because of this, mobile networks experience less overload during peak times, making it less likely that your phone signal will drop out.

What’s the Difference Between Low-Band 5G and High-Band 5G?

You might see some phones being billed as “low-band 5G” or “high-band 5G.” Generally speaking, low-band phone towers have a better range but slower data speeds than high-band towers.

Currently, 5G phones are designed to work with either low-band or high-band 5G—not both. But as phone companies work to keep up with evolving internet speeds, we’ll start to see phones that can handle both low- and high-band 5G.

How Will 5G Impact My Mobile Internet?

Today’s high-band 5G is limited to a handful of U.S. cities, while low-band 5G covers a much bigger area. The coverage and speed of your mobile internet will depend on your carrier.

Sprint uses a “mid-band” 5G network with medium range and data speed, while AT&T and T-Mobile feature a mixture of low-band and high-band 5G networks. Verizon uses a high-band 5G network.

Why Should I Care About 5G?

4G enabled us to stream video on the go. 5G is poised to take your mobile experience to the next level. 5G could be a viable option for home internet instead of cable or fiber optic, potentially offering a way to lower your internet bill. With 5G, driverless cars and mobile virtual reality experiences could become a widespread reality.

In short, 5G is the future.

Lewis Packwood

Find Your Internet - Compare offers from the top Internet and TV providers in your area all in one place.

Lewis Packwood is a freelance writer speclialising in content marketing, video games and technology. He has provided marketing content for clients including Skyscanner, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tesco Bank, Editions Financial, GAME, IBM, Insight, Medtronic and Bouncepad, as well as writing video-game features for industry-leading publications like EDGE, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Kotaku UK, Retro Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun. He also co-hosts a regular movie podcast, 101 Films You Should Have Seen, which has had around 1 million downloads, and he’s behind the video-game websites A Most Agreeable Pastime and 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better, which between them have been viewed more than 400,000 times.

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