If you speak with any tech enthusiast about what they are most eagerly anticipating in the coming years, they will mention 5G. Whenever there is talk about a major change to internet speeds, people tend to pay attention. Faster speeds mean that you can download, upload and stream much more and at much faster rates. But what else does 5G mean? Is it just an increase in speed? We assess.
5G and Its Impact
It is not hyperbole to suggest that our way of using the internet will change with 5G. The first thing that will change is our reliance on regular internet at home. 5G speeds will be more than what you are getting from domestic internet. They will be on par with the speeds you get if you are one of the lucky people to have gigabit fiber internet – and those are not too many people!
And the beauty of 5G is that it is over the air, in the same way we get 4G LTE speeds on our smartphones. Now you can get all that internet speed wirelessly, without needing to set up any routers or other access points at your home or apartment.
But what does all this mean for smartphones and computers?
5G and Smartphones
It is interesting that many companies in the United States are already starting to work on their 5G networks. For instance, T-Mobile believes they will be up in major cities in the country by the end of 2018. It may take them some time into 2019, but it will be ready sooner than we think.
The only issue? There is not a single smartphone on the market that supports 5G. Yes, you read that correctly. The iPhone X that is $1000 – no 5G! The upcoming iPhones? No 5G either! And it is not as simple as having an attachment to the phone later – if the 5G support is not within the processor then it is not possible to add later.
If you are buying a smartphone in the coming months, think about 5G in the back of your mind. Yes, the networks will take time to set up around the nation and world. But they will be here sooner than you think. If you spend $1000 on a smartphone you want it to be valuable four or five years from now. No 5G means it may be time to avoid spending too much on phones until that support arrives.
By late 2019 we should see smartphones with 5G chips. Those are the phones that will be worth buying.
5G and Computers
The change to computers is a little more interesting. The first thing to note is that computers are capable of having Wi-Fi support added through USB extensions. And the truth is that you could do the same with 5G support. There could be a USB-C or USB 3.0 adapter that you attach to your laptop. Bam – you get 5G support!
The major change that we will see to smartphones, computers and industrial tech use is not just speed. It is also latency. 5G promises to reduce latency by a significant amount. It is why tech such as robotic arms performing surgery, with the surgeon hundreds of miles away, will be viable once 5G is mainstream!