Tech & Science: 5G service is here, but do you really need to get a 5G phone now? - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & Science 5G service is here, but do you really need to get a 5G phone now?

16:50  01 december  2019
16:50  01 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Here we'll explain everything you need to know about 5 G and how it impacts you , from phone 4G delivered speeds that enabled video streaming and an entire economy of apps that need This will be especially useful in areas of the country where 5 G networks will take longer to get off the ground.

AT&T said Tuesday that it will launch its first 5 G phone , built by Samsung, in the first It may sound exciting, but you don't need to worry about buying one of the first phones to support it. Verizon's commercial 5 G service is currently only available in just five markets. T-Mobile says it will launch a

Creative background, male hand holding a phone with a 5G hologram on the background of the city. The concept of 5G network, high-speed mobile Internet, new generation networks. Copy space, Mixed media. © Getty Creative background, male hand holding a phone with a 5G hologram on the background of the city. The concept of 5G network, high-speed mobile Internet, new generation networks. Copy space, Mixed media.

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – In case you hadn’t heard yet, 5G, the next-generation cellular network technology, is here. All the major U.S. telecom carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, have announced offerings of various types. In addition, there are 5G-capable smartphones now available from several major vendors, including Samsung, LG, Motorola and more. (Unfortunately, you can’t take advantage of 5G’s benefits without a new phone. Sorry.)

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For now , the phone will only get 5 G service from Sprint in nine cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York What we know: The OnePlus 7 Pro debuted in May, and it's a really good phone . But then a few months later, OnePlus introduced a 5 G model

If you need to buy a new phone , you 're safe to buy one now or in September when Apple launches the new iPhone. And you don't need 5 G yet. Still, despite limited coverage, expect lots of marketing from carriers and phone makers about new 5 G networks, because they always want you to upgrade now

Now for the obvious question: Is it time to jump in on this promising new technology, or does it make more sense to wait?

The short answer for many people is that you are probably better off waiting. But the longer answer for many others is, it depends.

To understand why, it’s important to know that not all 5G is the same. In fact, there are essentially several “flavors” of 5G, determined by the radio frequencies on which they transmit. Each of those flavors has unique characteristics. (If you want to learn a bit more about how frequencies impact 5G, see my previous column, which explains the technology behind 5G in more detail.)

What are the different flavors of 5G?

The sub-6 GHz signals, which use lower frequencies, travel farther and therefore offer a much wider range of coverage, which is critical for more rural parts of the country. The millimeter wave (mmWave) signals, on the other hand, can offer significantly faster performance but offer a significantly smaller range (think Wi-Fi hotspot size per mmWave cell).

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“Low-latency services and massive IoT scale will thrive … [meaning] more connected services and Oh yeah, one more thing: In order to get 5 G , you ’ll need to upgrade. Your current phone can’t just The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

"I think 5 G really has the capability to change the way humans live dramatically because the time in which data is sent and received is dramatically reduced. African governments haven't yet developed the regulations that would allow for a 5 G rollout. In addition, mobile operators face huge infrastructure

Ideally, of course, you would want a service and a phone that would support both types, but, unfortunately, none of those exist yet in the U.S. While most carriers have what are called spectrum in each of those frequency ranges, the earliest 5G phones only support one or the other. This is a big part of the reason that some people are waiting.

Another key question to ask yourself: Are you (or the person who's ultimately getting the phone) in an area that currently has 5G service or is expected to get it soon?

We’re still in the early days of 5G, so coverage is definitely limited. However, carriers have finally started publishing coverage maps that allow us to see where their 5G service offerings are available.

If you are in a coverage area, ready for a phone upgrade, and are considering whether or not to get a 5G-capable device, then the story starts to be more compelling. For one, 5G is going to offer you faster download speeds in a given location than you’ve been able to get with 4G. If you’re the type of person who downloads a lot of Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime videos, you could see nice improvements.

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Analyst Paolo Pescatore suggests that networks need to explain clearly to users the benefits of 5 G as well as what bundled extras or benefits they can get BT and EE are the same company now , so BT is really a virtual network operator using the EE network. 5 G will be rolled out to the busiest parts of

So following that plan, while we're getting a little bit of 5 G right now , you should expect the big 5 G applications to crop up around 2021 or 2022. 5 G networks need to be much smarter than previous systems, as they're juggling many more, smaller cells that can change size and shape.

However – and this is important – depending on the type of service available, those speed improvements may not be very impressive, at least for right now.

Why 5G won't really be any faster – yet 

AT&T has said that its new low-band 5G service, which uses the farther-reaching sub-6 GHz frequencies, is expected to offer speeds that are essentially comparable to their existing 4G service (which may appear on your phone now misleadingly labeled 5Ge). Thankfully, they aren’t charging more for 5G service if you have one of their unlimited plans – some carriers are – but that’s still a bit of a tough sell.

Part of the problem is that the early 5G networks aren’t yet leveraging all the potential technologies that will eventually allow 5G devices to reach much faster download speeds. However, all of the carriers are committed to making those improvements over time.

What that means is that 5G service will get faster as carriers upgrade their networks, even on the early 5G phones. To be clear, you can’t make a sub-6 GHz phone work with millimeter wave via a software upgrade or vice versa, but software and hardware updates to cellular networks will start to make these new sub-6 GHz phones and services faster next year.

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Getting a 5 G phone now means you 'll reap the benefits of those expanding networks, especially as actual speeds catch up with what 5 G promises. Here 's why you might want to take a pass on getting a 5 G -ready phone at the moment. 5 G coverage isn't going to be widespread: Listen to carriers' plans

5 G networks are here now - here 's our guide to all the latest news and more. 5 G networks are already starting to appear and are expected to launch across the world by 2020, working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you

For millimeter wave-based devices and services, performance can be great already – but it’s only in very limited areas (and, oh by the way, generally only outside because the signals can’t go through walls). So, the network upgrades for companies like Verizon are going to involve extending the range of their network, which, frankly, is a tougher and generally slower task.

5G phones in a 4G world

For either sub-6 GHz or mmWave, it’s important to remember that early 5G phones can also use 4G. In fact, most 5G phones currently have the most advanced version of 4G (LTE Advanced Pro) built-in, which means you’re going to get the best possible 4G experience on those phones if you do fall outside 5G coverage areas.

If you’re eager to get access to the latest technologies and can patiently wait for network upgrades that will make the service better, then jumping into 5G now does make sense. If not, there’s always next year.

USA TODAY columnist Bob O'Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. His clients are major technology firms including Microsoft, HP, Dell, Samsung and Intel. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

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