5G Will be a Major Jump from 4G, Enabling a Wide Range of New Applications for Businesses
Right now, the 4G data speeds delivered by the major carriers are affected by a number of real-world factors, including network congestion. As a result, the 5G standard is designed to drastically reduce download latency to benefit applications where performance is a key consideration. Devices, like automated cars, rely on Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications of just 1 millisecond – around 10 times faster than 4G LTE’s 10 milliseconds. And 5G’s use of higher frequency bands is designed to overcome LTE’s traffic congestion issues and make significant amounts of bandwidth available. Finally, 5G should bring far greater and more consistent coverage thanks to the dense placement of smaller antenna elements. In short, the jump from 4G to 5G should finally make 4K video streaming, virtual reality, augmented reality experiences, and instantaneous communications widely available.
5G Requires Upgrading Infrastructure
Verizon launched the world’s first 5G service in October 2018, but only as a fixed broadband replacement. Still, the service uses Verizon’s proprietary technology rather than the standards the industry has agreed upon. The launch was also limited to select neighborhoods in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
In December 2018, AT&T turned on its mobile 5G network in a dozen cities, taking a shot at Verizon’s earlier effort by claiming AT&T was the first and only company in the US to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network. AT&T plans to increase 5G coverage to a total of 22 cities in 2019. However, their network isn’t yet generally available to consumers. Seeing an opening, Verizon began offering 5G to consumers in the areas of Chicago and Minneapolis in 2019.
Sprint has also entered the market, launching its network in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City areas. In the near future, the provider expects to expand its service to parts of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. According to Sprint, it will have the largest 5G network in the country.
In July 2019, T-Mobile launched its 5G network in select areas of six cities, including New York City and Los Angeles. The carrier promises a full launch in 30 cities by the end of 2019.
With these major carriers rolling out their 5G networks, it may be time to start considering a 5G smartphone for your next purchase. Your location, network, and typical phone purchasing schedule all factor into whether or not you should transition to 5G for 2020.
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