Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the improvements and evolutions of technologies these days, as they are so frequent and numerous. Our internet service, for instance, has gone through many evolutions and it has become increasingly faster and more convenient to engage in our various online activities. Well, internet and cellular services are now going through the next latest evolution as they become 5G.
The Merits of 5G
Simply put, 5G is going to be a widespread wireless signal that can go straight to devices. This negates the need to run cables underground and around in your home. With the current state of internet services, the fastest connection you can get is by directly connecting into your modem, but 5G aims to change this. Not only will you be able to go cable-free, but you will also have even faster internet service.
4G connections are the primary standard for wireless right now. Unfortunately, these connections can become bogged down when too many people are connected or when there are multiple high bandwidth activities happening, such as gaming or streaming. The infrastructure of 5G will allow multiple users to engage in these activities without concern for connection issues or buffering. With how much wireless internet is used these days, it has reached a point of technical limitation, which is where this upgrade will be beneficial for all of us.
5G has only recently begun being implemented in various places around the country, but it is far from a widespread option. While there are multiple providers of 5G, the nationwide rollout is slow. In fact, we likely will not see a full move to 5G for a few years. Expect to see a massive jump in the implementation of 5G in 2020, but don’t assume it will be in your area right away. For now, let’s take a look at the providers currently offering 5G options.
Of course, Verizon is one of the providers that is already pushing 5G options out to customers. They currently have their 5G cellular services live in thirteen cities and thirteen NFL stadiums. These cities include Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Phoenix, New York City, Washington D.C., and more. They are also expanding into Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, and several other cities soon. Home internet 5G options are even more limited, as they are only available in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Houston, and Indianapolis. The cost of Verizon 5G internet is $50/month if you also have a smartphone data plan and $70/month if you do not. The service includes free 5G for the first three months, free equipment, free installation, a free one month YouTube TV subscription, and a free Apple TV in select cities.
Another giant with its hand in the 5G race is AT&T. AT&T only offers 5G cellular services as of now, but they are working on a fixed in-home service as well. Although, the details of their in-home service are currently few and far between. Their 5G cellular services are available in 21 cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, Raleigh, and more. The provider also has 5G+, which is essentially a name for areas that they expect to provide even faster 5G service. 5G+ is already available in select areas of the cities that they have 5G service in.
Huawei could be said to be one of the leaders when it comes to implementing 5G technology. Huawei is a Chinese company that does not currently offer 5G services within the United States. In fact, this company is actually blacklisted by the U.S. government over security concerns. Although, there have been talks regarding licensing their 5G platforms to businesses within the United States. For now, it is hard to say whether Huawei 5G services will make it into the United States, but they are a great option for Chinese consumers.
Most people probably have not even heard of Vivint Internet. Vivint itself is a home security and automation company, but it has also expanded to offer internet services. They actually offer purely wireless internet service using a hub home system to relay a signal to other homes. Unfortunately, Vivint Internet only offers its 5G home internet in Salt Lake City, Utah. Vivint Internet costs are comparable to Verizon, with their plans starting at $50.
All the large cellular services are racing to offer the better 5G network service, including T-Mobile. T-Mobile already offers its 5G cellular service in 6 cities, and they are working to add more soon. The cities where their 5G is currently available are Cleveland, Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York.
The Future of 5G
Keep in mind that 5G cellular service is the priority for most providers at the moment, which means that the rollout of 5G home internet will be slower. If 5G home internet is what you have your eye on, then Verizon will likely be the best option, unless you live in Salt Lake City, where you could try Vivint Internet. If neither of these providers are appealing, it may be better to wait until more providers offer in-home service. In addition, it will also take some time for many mobile devices to begin offering 5G support, which means that the service will essentially be useless if your devices do not support it. On the other side of the coin, several cellular providers are now offering 5G phones, but these are no different from 4G devices unless they have access to a 5G network.
The bottom line is that 5G technology is still new and it will not be nationwide for quite some time. Unless you reside in a bigger city, it might not be worth looking into yet. When it does start becoming a more prominent technology, the benefits of speed and efficiency will definitely be appealing to those who use their internet for bandwidth-heavy activities.