The world’s first 5G smartphones will be rolling out in 2019 – and your next phone will be a lot faster for it.
Latest phones will be equipped with broadband-equivalent 5G download speeds from 19 different companies – including LG, Sony, ZTE, Nokia and HTC.
These devices will support super speedy 5G internet – succeeding the 4G internet we have today.
5G promises to be the “largest step forward for mobile technology yet”, and will be offering a lot more than fast speeds.
All of the phone makers in question have signed up to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem – which is paving way for 5G.
The modem is ready for 5G – but it is not currently available on any smartphones.
Qualcomm wants to not only offer fast speeds – but easy connectivity – meaning you won’t have to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi.
It goes without saying, but when 5G finally arrives you will need a 5G phone to make the most of it.
What is 5G?
5G – or 5th generation mobile networks – is the next-generation mobile network, following on from 4G.
The wireless connectivity is expected to handle more data, connect more devices and be more reliable.
The type network your phone has connected to – 3G or 4G – will decide how fast your internet speed will be.
This happens in the absence of a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The fifth generation of mobile network will offer much greater data speeds and much lower latency.
Latency means the delay between a request for content or an action, and that action actually happening.
For example, the time it takes to load a webpage after you’ve clicked it on your phone.
Currently, top end 4G networks offer download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s, whereas 5G promises speeds in excess of 1Gb/s.
So you might be able to start downloading some of those updates which, currently, you’re only able to do on a wifi connection.
But, many experts estimate that the speeds will in fact be closer to 10Gb/s.
This broadband-like speeds will mean you can download a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds.
5G will also attempt to expand the bandwidth capacity – enabling a smoother experience for multiple users in an area.
This means that even if you are in a crowded place, you will always have the right amount of network spectrum you need.
In theory this could be a massive help to mobile users at big events like concerts, festivals and sporting events, where typically the network can become strained.
You should also be able to get a better video call quality, and instant connectivity to the cloud.
When will 5G arrive?
It is reported that we may see 5G speeds from almost all of next year’s best phones.
But it’s also been said that the first public 5G networks are expected to start rolling out in the UK and worldwide in 2020.
However, preliminary implementations such as 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) are likely to arrive in 2019.
This is a means of providing internet access to homes using wireless mobile networks.
Usage of 5G is expected to become more widespread in 2022.
This means that even though the phones will be capable of supporting 5G – we may have to wait before using them to their fullest capacity.