How 5G Internet Works and How You Can Benefit from It

Commonly referred to as 5G, the fifth generation of the internet has been “a thing” since at least 2018 in terms of accessibility. However, it’s getting increased attention now as companies debut more products capable of optimizing all the perks associated with this technology. If you’ve only heard a few things here and there about 5G but you’re still not too sure what it really is or what it could practically mean for you, keep reading. Below, we go over the basics of 5G and how you can benefit from it.

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What Exactly is 5G?

The main difference with 5G is the frequency used to transmit data. Internet, in general, uses radio frequencies to send information in digital form. The current version of the internet, 4G, usually uses frequencies below 6 GHz, or gigahertz – referring to a measure of processing speed and current. With 5G, frequencies can be as high as 30 GHz. So, there’s even a big difference when just looking at things technically.

What Does the Frequency Boost Do?

For one thing, transmitting data at higher frequencies reduces latency, referring to the lag time between when information or data is sent after it’s requested and when it’s received. There’s also improved reliability. But the top selling point with 5G is how much faster it can make your phone – or any other devices using this technology.

How ‘Fast’ is Fast Really?

According to some estimates, 5G could be as much as a hundred times faster than what’s possible with devices using 4G networks. What’s more, it’s increasingly common in today’s world for people to use their phones and other devices for a wide variety of tasks, including:

  • Talking and texting
  • Checking emails
  • Watching TV shows and movies on your streaming services
  • Video chatting
  • Browsing and shopping

Is 5G Something You Actually Need?

It depends on much you rely on your various devices and what you usually do that requires a reliable internet connection – and a lot of speed. If your reliance on connections is fairly high, for instance, you’ll definitely appreciate 5G. However, most people can get by with 4G just fine, so it’s not an absolutely necessity. Over time, though, more companies will continue to make 5G products, which will eventually help prices go down. As 5G products and devices become more accessible and affordable, 4G options will become somewhat limited. Granted, this happens with all technologies. Still, it’s a gradual process, and 4G isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Is 5G Just a Phone Thing?

While phone manufacturers are heavily promoting 5G products, this technology isn’t limited to just phones. It’s an updated technology that can be used with many other devices or electronics capable of receiving or using an internet signal. This list includes laptops like the new Lenovo Flex, which is designed for business use. Even some “smart” home appliances will soon be capable of using 5G signals on a larger scale.

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What’s Needed to Get 5G?

You can get in on the 5G craze right now as long as you’re in an area where this technology is currently available. The good news is most major cities in the United States already have reliable and accessible 5G connections. Check online to see if your city is one of them since availability varies by state, location, and service provider. In Florida, for example, Jacksonville, Miami, Miami Gardens, and Orlando are among the cities currently offering 5G with AT&T. Additionally, to access 5G you’ll need:

  • Access to a provider that has 5G service as an option (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile currently offer it)
  • A device capable of using a 5G connection – go to your network settings to see if it’s an option if you’re not sure

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to like about 5G, especially at a time when more people need some extra speed and reliability for remote learning and work. The obstacle right now with 5G is accessibility. But there’s a significant effort underway to expand access and get more devices and products on the market capable of utilizing 5G connections. According to one estimate, roughly half of all cellular connections could be 5G by as soon as 2025. 

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