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What Exactly Is 5G, and What Can It Do for Me?

What Exactly Is 5G, and What Can It Do for Me?

You’ve heard the hype and now want to hope — is the super-cell service 5G really all that it’s cracked up to be? How do I make use of it?

Today, we’re going to lay it out for you, in a handy tiplist.

The anticipation is palpable — every so often in conversation someone will pick on the topic of cellphone service and how the next-gen technology, 5G will be a cure-all for dropped calls, endless download waits and sporadic service.

So here’s a primer that won’t leave you guessing.

  1. Get a handle on 5G.

    By now, everyone is familiar with 4G, introduced about a decade ago, which improved speeds over 3G. That was simple enough. Things are not so simple with 5G — which delivers incredibly faster speeds for all things you do on your phone. That’s a definition that’s as untechy as it gets. It has a hard time getting through troublesome barriers though and it’s likely that once you get it, you’ll see a toggling of speeds — meaning 5G sometimes, 4G at others.

    But to anyone who hits a snag when accessing a website on her cellphone — those days will be gone.

    It’s even faster than WiFi, in most cases.

  2. Here’s what you can do with it.

    Your day-to-day will get a lot easier, with less drops, and fewer interruptions. Internet-connected devices will experience noticeably less (if any) lag time. Automated devices will speak instantly to each other (think self-driving cars as they dodge each other).

    Gamers rejoice! Good news for your kids. A big problem with games is that the more sophisticated they become, the more laggy and juterry. Those problems will be a thing of the past.

  3. Sorry…you’ll need a new phone.

    There’s no way to sugarcoat this — yes. And expect to pay a lot: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 will set you back $1,300. Apple’s next-gen iPhone, the 12, will have the technology, according to Business Insider, and will cost about $1,400.

  4. Here’s what service will cost.

    The projected cost? Not so bad, here. Expect about $10 per month more, according to the Times. An individual unlimited AT&T plan with 5G, for example, will cost about $75 per month.

  5. Coming soon: Use it nationwide, even international.

    It’s already here! Well, in limited markets. Back in 2019, Verizon and AT&T sparked up their 5G networks and a handful of phones that featured 5G were released, according to The New York Times.

    For the rest of us, the biggest carriers, the same two, Verizon and AT&T, say expect nationwide availability this year.

    The European Union is already rolling out 5G availability so expect a similar timetable to the United States. Of course, many less-developed nations will see a slower rollout, while super-high-tech countries like China (on track to have the highest availability in the world) Japan, and South Korea, are well underway, says the Times.