5G is expected to reduce your home broadband costs by £240 pounds annually once launched. The new super fast internet connection promises revolutionary download and upload speeds, at prices anyone can afford.
5G is currently being tested in several cities across the UK. The super fast network is to replace 4G for internet connections on your smartphone, tablet or other web-enabled devices. The cities where mobile networks are testing 5G include London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry Bristol, Edinburgh, and Belfast.
If you’re in any of these cities or anywhere in the UK you probably want to know more about this next-generation network technology. This article will tell you what is 5G and how much you will probably pay for it.
- All you need to know about 5G
- What you need to access 5G
- Pricing for 5G
All You Need to Know About 5G
When you search the internet about 5G, most of the information that floods down the digital highway will be about how fast the latest generation of cellular mobile communications is. 5G promises speeds of 100 gigabits per second, making it close to 1000 times faster – yes, that number is right – than 4G. This mega speed means you’ll be able to stream a 4k video the moment you click on it. No waiting, and no dreaded buffering!
“Whatever we do now with our smartphones we’ll be able to do faster and better,” says Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company.
However, 5G is not only about super speed. More people will be able to connect to the network allowing for more data to be shared. The sharing of more data quickly will enable the development of smart cities, telemedicine, and driverless cars.
If you’re a gamer 4G usually has a delay before your movements are registered. With the new superfast 5G network that delay will be eliminated. I’m sure this is welcome news as a lag in connection can cost your victory.
What You Will Need to Access 5G
To access the 5G network you will need to purchase a 5G enabled phone. 5G enabled phones are yet to be available in the UK but this should change by August 2019. US chipmaker Qualcomm recently stated, “In total, we are working with more than 18 OEMs who have committed to launch 5G handsets in 2019 based on our 5G and our X50 modems.”
For your home or office, you can purchase a router which you’ll only need to plug and play to access the superfast network. EE and Huawei have already come up with such a modem saying “People will be able to buy a router for their home that will connect them to the network if they’re in an area with poor fixed broadband.”
Pricing for 5G
UK mobile networks are yet to give their pricing for 5G bundles. However, if we look back at the introduction prices for 4G we can have an idea of how much you’ll pay for 5G.
When 4G was rolled out in the UK in 2012 prices were 10-20% more than what customers paid for 3G. Mobile operator EE was the first to offer 4G in the country with the firm’s cheapest 4G bundle being offered at £36 per month for 500MB. The highest pricing was an 8GB plan at £56. At the time EE’s chief sales officer Marc Allera told BBC News “Customers will pay a premium of between 10-20% for an internet speed improvement of up to 500%.”
So, going by this you should expect to pay 10-20% extra costs over 4G for your 5G connection at launch.
After all, new technology almost always comes at a premium.
However, you should expect the prices of 5G to come down within the first year of use. 4G prices were dropped within nine months of launch with EE’s cheapest rate dropping to £21 a month for voice and data, or £15 a month for just data. The price drop was influenced by competition between mobile operators trying to woo customers to move to 4G.
Customers had a limited appetite for 4G with more than a quarter seeing no need to move to 4G. Mobile operators had to come up with enticing ways to make them move something we should expect with 5G pricing. While launching 4G Vodafone and O2 added extras such as football highlights and streaming music to try and lure customers to their 4G contracts.
Stuart Orr, managing director of communications industry at Accenture, stated then that these tactics showed 4G was not attractive enough as a standalone product.
“The move by Vodafone to package Sky Sports and Spotify in with its new 4G offering shows that operators know they have to demonstrate what new 4G services mean immediately for consumers and why they should pay more,” he told the BBC.
5G promises to offer you a better internet experience. Faster download and upload speeds, smart cities, driverless cars all sound exciting. However, how fast this new mobile technology will pick up largely depends on the pricing offered by the mobile companies. Hopefully, their initial pricing will be fair so you can start using 5G immediately!