It’s a term that has hit the headlines several times in recent weeks - but what actually is 5G?
5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile network’, and is the successor of 4G.
To help you understand what 5G is and what it means to you, we’ve put together a handy guide on the network.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is 5G?
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5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile network.’
At its most basic level, 5G will be used to make calls, send texts, and to simply get online.
But it’s going to be significantly faster than previous generations, and could open the door up to a range of exciting new uses.
How does 5G work?
5G will use new higher radio frequencies to transmit data, which are less cluttered and carry information much faster. While these higher bands are faster, they don’t carry information as far.
This means that smaller multiple input and output antennas will be implemented - boosting both signals and capacity.
According to 5G.co.uk, this means that 5G will support up to 1,000 more devices per metre than 4G.
5G will also allow operators to take divide a physical network up into multiple virtual networks, depending on how it’s being used. For example, different ‘slices’ could be used for phones and autonomous cars.
Why is it better than 4G?
5G is expected to be faster than 4G, with some firms claiming it could as much as 100 times quicker.
The fastest 4G networks can deliver peak download speeds of around 300Mbit/s. In comparison, 5G could offer download speeds of over 1Gb/s.
In a real-life scenario, this could allow you to download a full HD film in less than 10 seconds!
5G is also expected to have a lower latency, meaning there will very little - if any - delay when you carry out tasks on a device.
While this will help improve things like gaming experiences, it could also pave the way for self-driving cars - in which even a short delay could be life-saving.
Finally, 5G will have a larger capacity, meaning networks will be able to cope with several apps at once.
Overall, this should mean that devices have a faster, more stable connection.
Which smartphones will 5G will available on?
The majority of smartphones currently on the market are not compatible with 5G, so will not benefit from the mobile network speed upgrade.
If you want to be get ahead of the curve, and be among the first in the UK to experience 5G data speeds, here are the phones you should be looking at buying:
- Huawei Mate 20 X (5G)
- OnePlus 7 Pro (5G)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- LG V50 ThinQ 5G
- Oppo Reno
- Xiaomi Mi MIX 3
How will 5G affect you?
Day-to-day, 5G will mean that downloading and streaming films and games will be significantly faster - and you can wave goodbye to the dreaded ‘buffering.’
However, to get on board, you’ll probably need a new phone which is 5G capable.
Qualcomm has announced that its Snapdragon X50 5G chip is being implemented in several smartphones next year - although it is unclear which models.
Other ways that 5G will affect you may sound more futuristic, but could soon become the norm.
The mobile network will pave the way for several technologies, including more advance robots, holographic videos, and driverless cars.
However, only time will tell, and we’ll have to see what 5FG brings when it arrives.