5G, one of the hottest buzzwords of 2020, is finally here. You may be wondering: What exactly is 5G and will it live up to the hype?
Short for 5th Generation, 5G is the new global standard for cellular technology that follows in the footsteps of 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G. 5G is expected to significantly improve speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks across the globe. While these fifth-generation networks first started rolling out in 2018, things are getting real now: That’s because 5G-compatible smartphones are now available, from the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to Google Pixel 5 and LG Velvet.
So, what are the major advances of this next generation cellular network? Here are five of the biggest benefits 5G has to offer consumers and businesses:
The fastest wireless technology yet, 5G promises to transform the way people live, connect and work. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have shown lightning-fast 5G speeds in excess of 1 gigabit per second. To put that into perspective, that’s up to 100 times faster than your average cellular connection. What can you do with a network this fast? For one, you could download a two-hour feature film in just seconds.
#2: Less Lag Time
5G offers another major advantage over previous networks: low latency. Latency is response time—it’s how long it takes from when you click a link until the website downloads or when you hit play on a video and the clip actually starts playing. With 4G, this lag time is approximately 20 milliseconds. However, 5G shrinks latency to as low as 1 millisecond. This will lead to major improvements in everything from virtual reality video games and video streaming to Zoom calls and telemedicine.
#3: Connect More Devices
The next generation network is designed to connect many more devices than 4G. This is extremely important as the internet of things (IoT) trend continues to take off. 5G has the capability to power numerous devices in your home or office—from your security system and smart refrigerator to an ATM and robotic farm equipment.
#4: The Cloud
By now, you probably already know the benefits of the cloud. By offloading files, apps and photos to the cloud, users can cut down on device clutter and save a ton of space on their phones. 5G makes working with the cloud even more efficient. This next generation network allows users to retrieve files from the cloud with virtually no delay and seamlessly work among multiple devices.
#5: Ever-Expanding Coverage
While coverage is still spotty in some areas, carriers continue to expand 5G into major cities across the nation. With the expansion of these networks and new 5G devices rolling out, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have all launched nationwide 5G coverage. Verizon currently covers more than 200 million people with its 5G offering while T-Mobile covers 250 million and AT&T covers 205 million. These numbers will continue to rise in the coming months and years.
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