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What is 5G -- Your Guide to This New Technology

by Ronald Elias

It’s time to stop being confused about 5G. 

When it comes to technology, there are a lot of numbers out there: 4G, LTE, 5G, 4K, 1080p, we could go on and on and on. But, with as busy as everybody is these days, it can be hard to keep up. You are in luck, however, because you have something a lot of people don’t have: A local electronics store that cares about educating its customers, not just selling them stuff.

To help keep all of our customers/family up-to-date on the latest in tech, we’re going to dedicate this week’s blog to looking at a mysterious force that keeps coming up in conversation: 5G. Get your learning caps on and let’s take a look at what exactly 5G is and what it means for you and your technological needs. 

What is 5G?

With Apple’s newest iPhone – the iPhone 12 – just having come out, we expect that more and more people are going to be trying to figure out exactly what this whole 5G thing is, how it works, and if they need it. A lot of those answers are going to come down to personal preference, but at the very least we can help all of you figure out what it is!

Let’s begin at a hopefully easy starting point. Most people have probably heard of 4G – which is the broadband cellular network that your cell phone uses. If you are reading this article on your phone right now, it probably used 4G technology to load and display our website.

So, now that we have 4G covered, let’s take things one numerical step further. 5G, following 4G, is yet another wireless technology standard. It comes with some exciting new features, such as bigger channels, lower latency, and the ability to connect to many devices all at the same time. 

What does this mean to you as an end user? Well, it can get a bit complicated. As with most things, there are different types of 5G available and different cell phone carriers are calling and branding it as different things. But once high band 5G really gets up and running, it will mean faster speeds for your cell phone. 

Is 5G Dangerous?

For some reason, this question keeps coming up, as well. It’s only natural to fear what you don’t know, but there’s no reason to be afraid of 5G. 

Despite what some people would have you believe, 5G isn’t going to make you more likely to contract COVID-19. If you are trying to get all semantic about things, it doesn’t cause coronavirus, either. And while experts are – of course – calling for more research into 5G, there’s no reason to think that there are any health risks. 

How Fast is 5G?

Fast. 

Oh, you want more specific than that? OK, we can help with that. At its best, 5G can hit up to 20 Gbps. For a more real-world example, if you were trying to download a full 8K movie – not even a 4K movie, but an even larger 8K file – you’d be looking at it coming through 500% faster on 5G than 4G. When you take into account that most things you are doing on your phone aren’t anywhere near as intensive as 8K video – yeah, there’s going to be quite the difference in speed once full, high band 5G is up and running. 

Do I need 5G?

For most people right now? No, probably not. Coverage is limited, and even the low band 5G that some companies are advertising isn’t the true lightning fast 5G that everybody is getting excited about. 

But, if you are in one of the cities that does have 5G access up and going and you have devices that can use it, then yes! We are jealous, so you should totally take advantage of the technology if it’s there. 

Predictions are guessing that 5G will cover a quarter of the globe by 2030, so you have some time before you need to upgrade. At the very least it’s something to be mindful of, especially when it comes to looking at upcoming cell phone purchases. 

But, if you are looking for some new technology to tide you over until you decide to make the jump to 5G, then you are in the right place! Give us a call or head on down to our store. We’ll be glad to help you find that new TV, sound system, or other new electronic or tech toy to bring home today!