New 5G Technology to be introduced Early 2019

There is a lot of speculation around 5G network connection and when this connection speed will arrive in the UK. As we near the launch of 5G, it is being mentioned more and more in the media, so now seems like a good time to take a look at what to expect from 5G.

Last updated: 21st Nov 2018 at 9:58am

What is 5G?

Network operators currently have 4G in most UK cities. Mobile networks are always looking to improve the service they provide and make data speeds even faster. 5G is the fifth generation of mobile phone connectivity, which will eventually become the connection of choice, just as 4G today is preferable to 3G. We don’t really need to understand the technology behind 5G and instead, we only need to appreciate that it will be faster, connect more people at one time and handle larger volumes of data, than 4G.

The fastest 4G connection (download/upload speeds) is currently 28.80/9.29Mbps - Order your Free 4G pay as you go sim.

5G promises 10 to 20 times faster download speeds than what we currently have now. 5G will achieve this goal by using very high or very low frequencies, that are currently not being used by other technologies. New 5G antennas (base stations) will also consume 90% less electricity than current 4G stations; which is fantastic news for the environment.

When will 5G be launched?

In certain countries such as China, Japan, the US and South Korea, 5G networks will launch early 2019. However, for the majority of countries it will be 2020 before 5G arrives and it probably won’t become widespread until 2022. The good news is that UK networks are already conducting 5G trials to ensure a smooth roll-out of the service.

The biggest challenge for mobile phone networks is achieving a financial balance. For 5G to be viable, the cost of providing high volumes of data needs to decrease at the same rate that the demand for data increases.

Which phones will support 5G?

Due to the fact that 5G is in the process of being developed, current mobile phones will not be able to support it. There is expected to be plenty of new 5G-capable phones in the market next year. Motorola has created the first 5g-ready phone with the Moto Z3, the phone is available to buy now in the US, but its 5G accessory ‘Moto Mod’ wont go on sale until 2019.

Eighteen mobile phone manufacturers have announced that they have 5G phones in the works. These phone brands include HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony. The chart below shows the top manufacturers that have confirmed launch of 5G-capable phones.  

Manufacturer

Model

Release date

Xiaomi -

Mi Mix 3

Early 2019

OnePlus -

To be confirmed

Early to mid-2019

LG -

To be confirmed

Early to mid-2019

Huawei -

P30

Mid-2019

ZTE -

To be confirmed

Mid to late-2019

Samsung -

To be confirmed

2019

Vivo -

To be confirmed

2019

 

It was expected that Samsung’s Galaxy S10 would make the transition to 5G. A 5G mobile connection on the S10 would allow the user to have fast download and upload speeds, giving users the ability to play AAA games and stream high-fidelity 4K films. Unfortunately, Samsung announced that the S10 won’t be their 5G debut, however there is another mysterious 5G model on its way.

If you are upgrading your phone or buying a new one in the latter half of 2019, then you may want to look out for one that is labelled as 5G ready.

How fast will 5G be?

It is time to get real and let you know what you should expect from 5G. According to processor manufacturer Qualcomm, 5G will be ten to twenty times faster than 4G. You might see reports indicating much faster speeds (up to 65,000 times faster than the minimum speed of 4G) but these are under laboratory conditions, whereas Qualcomm is referring to real-world performance.

We can trust what Qualcomm says because they are a large mobile parts manufacturer and are producing the Snapdragon X50 5G chip. This chip is being used by the networks and handset brands to test 5G, so their projections are based on the technology that will actually be inside your 5G smartphone.

What will 5G be used for?

When 5G arrives you may be able to do the following:

  • Download a standard definition TV show in one second
  • Download a Full HD movie in as little as four seconds
  • Video calling quality will improve
  • Mobile gamers will enjoy instant gameplay; similar to that on Playstation
  • 5G will form the framework for smart cities that use smart lighting, autonomous vehicles
  • 5G will enable Smartphone virtual reality and augmented reality through smart glasses

It feels strange to imagine a day where your health is monitored by real-time fitness wearables, or a day where you can stream higher definition videos; such as 8K 3D.

5G may be used to solve real-world problems such as; provide remote health services from the NHS, which could free up more than a million GP hours each year. Households may also save money through smart fridges reducing food waste, while councils will be able to save money through smart rubbish collections. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination.

5G; Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Currently, 4G limits what can be done when it comes to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). This is due to the limitations of 4G concerning bandwidth, latency and uniformity. 5G is expected to provide ten times improvement throughput and one-hundred times improvement in network efficiency. We have already seen the introduction of basic AR or VR games and apps, with 5G streaming capabilities there will be an introduction of new complex gaming platforms for mobile.

How is 5G different from 4G?

5G will bring faster upload and download speeds, compared to 5G. The new antennas will have a high capacity, which is good for city centres were population density is at its highest. Internet connections will be more stable because 5G makes better use of the available radio spectrum.

5G will also be able to connect more devices to the internet simultaneously. It is currently projected to be capable of connecting to 1,000 more devices than 4G, per square metre, making networks faster than ever before.

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