An easy guide to 5G and how Apple will probably kick-start the 5G revolution.

Despite 5G sounding like something you would experience while piloting the Millennium Falcon, it actually relates to the latest innovation in mobile connectivity.

The different generations (or G’s) have been defined by the features and possibilities they bring to mobile users: the 1G network brought phone calls, then 2G added SMS, 3G brought mobile data, and 4G sped it all up. 5G is set to further amplify the capabilities of 4G, whilst adding greater qualities, that truly revolutionise how we interact with mobile technology.

But what will our 5G future look like? Let’s take a look.

Buckle up, things are about to get a whole lot faster!

Part of the magic of smartphones these days, is how all of our favourite streaming services are available in app format. Whether you’re a Netflix binger, a Spotify streamer or an avid gamer, all of the entertainment you could possibly want is right there, all the time.

Mobile phone playing Netflix in someone's hands.
The Sony Xperia 1 II, showing how 5G makes it super easy to watch The King on Netflix.

While 4G (at its fastest) can download 100 megabits per second (Mbps), 5G has the potential for 10 gigabits per second. That’s 100 times faster. Forget loading times – you’ll be able to download a two-hour film in four seconds!

Now personally, I get by with 4G speeds, but I do find myself patiently waiting for YouTube videos to load, especially if I skip forwards or backwards within them. With 5G, that would be a thing of the past.

There’s more good news too. 5G offers a considerably reduced latency, meaning a decrease in the delay, before a transfer of data begins. This promises greater responsiveness and quicker load times when on the web, enabling more reliable video calls, flawlessly fluid gaming, and improvements to just about anything web-based.

Don't believe us just yet?

Don't just take our word for it. Listen to the experts at Samsung, as they discuss all of the ways 5G will revolutionise mobile phones.

One for the urbanites

Time to get a bit techy I’m afraid, but stay with me. 5G differs from its predecessor in the frequencies that it uses within the radio spectrum. Whilst 4G uses bands below 6 GHz, 5G uses millimetre waves, transmitting at frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz. Because these tiny waves cannot travel through buildings, the UK’s 5G network has small transmitters placed around 250m in urban areas (which should make eye contact even less likely on the Tube!).

Fridge says no

If you’re into your tech news, you’ll have heard of the term, Internet of Things (IoT), a lot over the past few years. Consisting of everything from smart watches, to driver-less cars, to E-fridges, the IoT is a vision of a more connected future, where devices talk to each other to serve their human masters. 5G will enable faster wireless internet everywhere, making this bright future possible.

We would like to think this future will be greener, and 5G will play its part. A smart electricity grid will allow wirelessly connected devices to remotely detect, monitor and adjust electricity usage. And when we’re not outside enjoying the cleaner air, we’ll be gaming, with 5G enhancement. Processing of graphics will switch from the gamer’s device to network servers, enabling improved cloud gaming services on smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

Further to the above, 5G presents unprecedented opportunities for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Drones may be used for remote medicine and, of course, delivery of online shopping. Healthcare will too make use of 5G’s information sharing potential, with tasks ranging from diagnostics, video sharing, robotic surgery and control of insulin pumps (and other medical devices).

The phones are awesome

The move to 5G has coincided with some amazing new smartphones from top providers. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G offers “blazing-fast performance” and just about every feature you could want from a smartphone, while the S20 Plus 5G and S20 5G are also super fast additions to the Samsung S-range. If Huawei’s more your thing, then there’s the 5G-enabled P40 and P40 Pro, which pick up where the popular P30 Pro left off. And if you fancy something a little less mainstream, there’s the Sony Xperia 1 II 5G!

Three mobile phones from the Samsung Galaxy S20 collection
The Samsung Galaxy S20 family- colourfully supporting 5G

All the phones above are available to buy on Buymobiles.net. So whether you’re into gaming, photography, video production or something else, your 5G phone could be waiting for you.

How is Apple going to change the game - you ask?

Of course, there’s one big name I haven’t mentioned yet (crunchy fruit, often found in pies – got it yet?), whose launch event for the new iPhone range is scheduled for September, though coronavirus-production issues may push this back a month or two.

It is rumoured that Apple's upcoming iPhone will be 5G-enabled. It is no secret that Apple are known for revolutionising features on their devices, from facial recognition to contactless payments, the iPhone has it all. This makes the possibility of Apple's newest device, being 5G-enabled, so much more exciting. In true Apple style - we are expecting a game changer and we're very confident that a 5G-enabled iPhone will be a beautiful thing indeed.

So, don’t get left behind!

The full breadth of advancements that 5G offers is often cut short when covered on news outlets - as there's often no time to explain everything that it offers. For many people, this may be the first time they're hearing about all of the ways 5G is revolutionary. Personally, instead of asking myself the question, 'Should I buy a 5G phone?" I'm starting to ask, "Which one?"