The next big evolution in mobile technology is almost here. Australian telecommunication companies have already begun experimenting with 5G, but there is still a lot of confusion and curiosity from consumers.
In this article, we’ll look at what 5G actually is, why we need it, how fast it will be, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about 5G in Australia.
What is 5G?
5G is, basically, an upgrade to the current 4G network. Using faster, shorter millimetre waves to transmit information, 5G promises a number of critical improvements. This includes:
- Significantly faster speeds. The 5G network will have the capacity to produce download speeds of up to 20Gbps, with a predicted minimum speed of 100Mbps. 100Mbps is the maximum speed offered by the NBN.
- Reduced latency. Latency is the time it takes for information from your device to reach the internet and then come back again. Currently, the latency for the 4G network is around 60 milliseconds. 5G could reduce this to 1 millisecond. This decrease may not be noticeable during day-to-day web browsing, but for things like self-driving cars, it is extremely significant.
- Increased simultaneous connections. 5G will enable a greater number of devices to connect to the network at the same time. This, again, is significant. Not only is smartphone usage skyrocketing, but with new developments such as self-driving cars, autonomous machinery, and other Internet of Things devices, this update will prove essential in a few years time.
5G is certainly the meaner, leaner, much faster version of 4G, but it won’t replace it. Telcos plan to keep 4G towers around for some time. Even the 3G network is scheduled to be maintained until at least 2020.
Does Australia need 5G?
As we’ve already mentioned, 5G is a necessary update to our telecommunications technology if Australia plans to keep up with the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT).
If you’re not familiar with the concept of the IoT, think of it as every device with an on/off switch that could, potentially, be connected to the internet. This isn’t just phones and computers. Appliances like your washing machine, fridge, and speakers, home features like garage doors and lights, and a whole host of other household, business, medical, and industrial devices make up the IoT.
5G will facilitate developments in the IoT. And so, it’s essential to the future of technology here in Australia.
If the thought of a smart fridge or self-driving car doesn’t appeal to you, you will still benefit from the 5G network. With access to ultra-fast connectivity, you can enjoy more reliable and higher quality video streaming for things like Netflix and Facetime and a faster internet connection in general.
What’s more, a higher standard of connectivity will inspire a new generation of innovators, who may then create apps, games, social media platforms, and productivity tools that make use of the 5G network.
How fast is 5G in Australia?
In theory, 5G will be able to reach speeds of up to 20Gbps. In real-life, day-to-day situations, that number will likely be a little lower, depending on a whole host of factors, such as the age and model of the device, and how far away the user is from the nearest cell tower.
Telstra tested 5G in July of 2018 on the Gold Coast using mmWave bands (shorter wave-lengths than used to facilitate the 4G network). They achieved network speeds of about 3Gbps – that’s around 3,000Mbps or 30 times as fast as the NBN’s maximum connection speed.
Want to know more about upgrading your tech?
5G is still a little while away. But, if you’d like to future-proof your next tech purchase, it’s worth considering whether or not your new device is compatible with the 5G network.
Contact our friendly team today, and we’d be happy to chat about your tech needs and secure your hardware, software, or a phone or internet contract that meets your needs. Phone on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page, and we’ll get back to you.