By now, you’re probably familiar with 2G, 3G and 4G; but there’s a new kid on the block. Recently there’s been a lot of buzz

regarding the fifth generation of mobile networks. But everyone is asking the same questions, what is 5G, how much better is it and when can I get it?

What is 5G?

Put simply 5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks. 5G will be faster and more reliable than the previous versions. This means that we will see a lot more advancements in mobile internet connected devices and networks, not just our mobile phones.

How much faster is it?

Every generation of mobile networks aims to be substantially faster than the last and 5G doesn’t disappoint.

5.co.uk reports that

“5G is expected to be able to reach speeds in excess of 1Gb/s (1000Mbit/s) quite comfortably in its early stages. Many experts expect that it will be able to hit speeds of 10Gb/s (10000Mbit/s) eventually – that’s 100 times faster than standard 4G, and 30 times faster than advanced 4G standards like LTE-A.”

To put that into perspective

Network type Max download speeds Time to download a HD film
3G 384Kbps Over a day
4G 100Mbps Over 7 minutes
4G+ 300Mbps 2.5 minutes
5G 1-10Gbps (theoretical) 4 – 40 seconds

Table courtesy of 5g.co.uk

When can I get it?

The good news is that 5G will be rolled out in 2019 by the four main network operators. The bad news is that initially it will be to a select few cities. Also, you’ll need a 5G compatible phone in order to be connected to the 5G network and at the time of writing this article, there are no 5G compatible phones for sale in the UK. However, with the rollout happening over the next few months we won’t be surprised to see these phones entering the market very soon.

Mobile Operator Launch Date Launch Cities
EE 2019 Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, London and Manchester
02 2019 Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London
Three 2019 Not Confirmed
Vodaphone 2019 Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Stoke and Wolverhampton

Table courtesy of 5g.co.uk