5G: everything you need to know

5G: everything you need to know

5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connections, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.

Combining cutting-edge network technology and the latest high-spec devices, 5G should offer connections that are many times faster than previous mobile technologies, with average download speeds of around 1Gbps, which is expected to be the norm for many (if not for most) following gen network.

These networks are expected to surpass IoT technology by providing the infrastructure needed to transfer vast amounts of data, making the world smarter and more connected. In a literal sense, information from multiple sensors can tell operators what's going on in your home, city, or even city in real time. 

5G networks are rolling out around the world, with providers offering connectivity in the US, UK and Australia, as well as many other countries around the world. While rollout schedules have slowed down due to the coronavirus outbreak, networks are still expanding and carriers are continuing their plans to expand current setups and launch nodes in new areas and cities. 

Many of these networks work alongside existing 3G and 4G technologies to provide faster connections that stay online no matter where you are. You may already be able to get 5G where you live, and below we will tell you what 5G is and more.

How fast is 5G?

5G speeds will vary by location, country, carrier, and device, but in general, expected average internet speeds should be much faster than what is currently offered with 4G.

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We tested early 5G networks in the US, UK, and Australia and found speeds to be somewhat mixed. 

While some of the mmWave networks - most reliably Verizon in the US - regularly deliver over 1Gbps as promised, their coverage is patchy and minimal. Sprint's mid-range 2,5GHz 5G service covers a large area and reliably offers speeds in the region of 200Mbps, which is less impressive but still far superior to typical 4G LTE speeds.

In the UK, the EE network peaked at 550Mbps in our tests, but partial coverage resulted in an average speed of 200-400Mbps. You can expect a similar mix on other UK 5G networks as well as Australia.

What is 5G networks for me?

  • Faster download and upload speed
  • Smoother online content streaming 
  • Better voice and video calls 
  • More Reliable Mobile Connectivity
  • More connected IoT devices 
  • Diffusion of advanced technologies such as self-driving cars and smart cities
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