It seems like consumers have been hearing about 5G network connectivity for years. Compared to previous network rollouts, the amount of hype and extended time frame for implementing this new technology feels like it’s happening in slow motion. Fear not though, the 5G revolution really is just around the corner. Read on to find out where plans to implement this technology stand in 2020 and how experts are anticipating the rest of the switch to 5G to go.
What Is 5G, Exactly?
For those who haven’t been paying attention to tech news, 5G is a new type of cellular connection. Generally speaking, cell phone carriers make the switch over to a new network about once every 10 years. The switch to 5G is touted as being much more exciting than previous changes, though, since it will be exponentially more powerful than 4G.
Currently, most major providers are still in the process of rolling out their 5G networks. Some have implemented toned-down versions of 5G that offer lag reduction, with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon leading the pack. Those who have already made the switch to 5G-compatible cell phones have likely noticed a minor change in latency, at least if they live in major cities where the switch has already been rolled out. Otherwise, consumers will still be waiting some time before the much-hyped “millimeter wave” 5G networks are rolled out.
What’s the Holdup?
Since 5G requires complex systems and equipment, it’s taking a while to roll out the changes. Companies must ensure that their networks are functioning as intended with 5G testing during each stage, which takes some time. Consumers who just can’t wait to get their hands on this new technology can learn more about what this testing entails to see why it’s so important.
5-G Compatible Phones
Last year, only five types of 5G-compatible cell phones were manufactured and sold to consumers. This year, that number jumped to 15. Those who are getting impatient should see this as a hopeful sign. Since consumers will need to switch to compatible phones if they want to take advantage of millimeter wave 5G’s impressive speeds when their carriers roll out full-scale plans, it may be worth buying a new phone now.
Countries Leading the Pack
While some countries throughout the world still lack thorough 4G coverage, several are leading the pack when it comes to 5G. Experts anticipate that China will have the largest 5G network, but the much-anticipated change to faster cellular speeds is also underway on a large scale in Japan and Korea. According to the European Commission, EU residents should expect to see 5G connectivity popping up in at least one major city in each country within the next year.
In some places, individual municipalities are already placing restrictions on 5G. They’ve fallen prey to conspiracy theories. Organizations across the world have tested 5G’s safety extensively and will continue to do so, so ignore the fringe lunatics. The technology is well-tested, and it is safe.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to 5G. Unfortunately, most consumers still have something of a wait ahead of them. Perhaps 2020 will be looked back on as the true beginning of the 5G revolution, but it still has a long way to go.