As you might know, I have already covered some 5G related news on this site. I see this to be so broad topic that it deserves a thorough coverage far beyond just the latest news.
I will make sure that the informaton provided in this post will always be backed by reputable sources. I am not planning to spread any rumors.If something is not for sure I will leave it out until I can confirm it from a reputable source
There are a lot of questions that come up when people talk about 5G. I suppose at this point it seems like there are more questions than answers and we are in the period of uncertainty about the future of 5G and its effect on our society.
I know I may have taken a big leap of faith in myself by taking this step. but I decided to delve deep into everything that we know so far about 5G.
By the nature of the fact that 5G technology is still in development, it suffices to say that I will revisit this page regularly and update the content with the latest news related to this topic.
What is 5G?
The 5G technology is a brainchild of a group of scientists and technicians gathered under the so-called 3rd Generation Partnership Project or 3GPP in short. The idea of 5G technology is so broad and technical that the manual provided when 5G technology was first announced consisted of over a hundred pages.
The nature of this undertaking requires that the specifications be regularly revised. For some of us, it may look similar to a software development process.
3GPP delivers updates to these specifications on a regular base in the form of releases. The first one introducíng 5G was release 15 and the latest one, covering the development anticipated to be finished sometime in 2021 is revision 17.
From this, we may see that the development of technology never stops and we should always look ahead.
From the above-mentioned specification of 5G, I can see that it is aimed to provide our smartphones and other connected devices with a high-speed internet connection over the cellular network. Understand this to be for use with a sim card of our mobile carrier. The 3GPP also set the network to be useful in a congested environment. Meaning that there are a lot of devices getting connected to the network at the same time.
The specifications of 5G are in some aspects similar to Wi-fi but are not the same. I am not going to go into too much technical detail here but if you fancy reading the tech stuff you can do so on the official 3GPP website.
What is the difference between 4G and 5G?
The 4G technology mostly known to us as LTE is a direct predecessor to 5G as such there must be some significant differences to justify making a new standard.
According to the 3GPP specification , both 5G and LTE will coexist for some time just as it was common in the past because the adoption of new technology takes time. You do not want to have people stranded in the middle of nowhere without the ability to use their phone.
So for some time 5G will support and improve the hardware that is currently in place for LTE networks. This looks to me as some form of a handover.
We are currently at that phase of the development where the 3GP outlines the hardware requirement for the smooth transition
The 5G network will allow for faster data transfer. Also, more devices connected to the network at the same time and faster response to the requests sent by the device which required the connection.
Is 5G dangerous?
As with any other new technology, it is understandable that we are concerned about the effect it might have on our environment and ourselves.
In everyday life, we are exposed to a lot of wireless technology emitting energy at different frequencies
As you might be aware authorities like FCC are checking to make sure that the levels of exposure to certain radio frequencies are safe. The FCC calls this SAR. The SAR rating tells us that every phone emits some radio waves and all the phones are checked against this SAR scale before releasing it to the public.
FCC assures us that the phone is not dangerous to us if it passed the tests.
For those of us who are more conscious of what they hold in their hands, You can check that here. you will need the FCC ID listed on the box your device came in. FCC provides search also for other markets where you would need their specific number. I suppose it would also be listed somewhere visible on the box.
5G has also been tested by scientists to make sure that it is safe. In an event that itwould have been considered dangerous, the 3GPP would not be given a license to operate the 5G network in any country. Even as there are some people understandably apprehensive to any kind of increase of exposure to radio frequencies BBC reports that UK government officials stated "while a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network, the overall exposure is expected to remain low"
For me, this is enough of assurance that as far as the technology is known and tested it has been considered safe.
Where can I use 5G?
The carrier Vodafone is making sure that their customers are aware of the benefits of 5G and also makes sure that people know where they can get the service. So they informed about the coverage in UK. They also informed that there are places in Italy, Spain and Germany where you can also make use of your 5G device. The information about these other European countries have been provided in this document
Vodafone also provided an update that 5G is already available in Italy, Spain and Germany
The 5G coverage is pretty spotty these days. In one of the future updates I will be adding information about other countries where they started rolling out 5G
As I want to stay true to no rumor policy I must warn you that even if a certain city has coverage of 5G I will not list them specifically as to not make you think that the coverage is 100% complete.
The South Korean Telecom recently informed that they have over a milion people subscribed to their 5G plans
The Swiss provided detailed map of Coverage by the 5G signal.
Last month I also informed you about the deployment of 5G networking hardware in the city of Moscow
To sum it up. The 5G network is currently available in the following countries
What are some of the phones that can use the 5G network?
I eventually planned to not include the full list of 5G enabled phones here because the list would be too short. Recently manufacturers like Samsung released 5G related new and also devices. This convinced me to include the full list of all the phones which are released and are confirmed to be released .
I understand that as I decided to list the 5G smartphones here I might need to revisit this page quite often, but I would be doing so anyway so here you go.
LG v50 thinQ 5G - Available in Uk with EE
Lenovo/Motorola 5G moto - mod free upgrade for current phones
One Plus 7 Pro 5G - available only to Sprint customers
Oppo Reno 5G - Available in Uk with EE.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G - Available in Uk with EE
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G - Available in Uk with EE
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - available with Vodafone and EE
Samsung Galaxy A 90 - announced
Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G - available with Vodafone UK
Some smartphone brands are omitted because they have not yet officially released a smartphone with 5G implemented
Some other manufacturers have slated their release of 5G phone for later in the year and some have yet to announce the availability of such a phone in their product lineup
Just today Samsung announced Galaxy A90. Samsung did not state a price tag for this phone, but knowing that A80 un the UK costs the equivalent of $700 I do not see the A90 being much more apealing than $900. Even as this is a significant price decrease it is still too pricy for my taste.
But, on the other hand, I understand that implementation of 5G technology into the phone required a lot of research and development costs, So just as it goes with every other piece of technology, the more devices are available the lower the price is going to be.
The price is not the only limit. As listed Above 5G phones are currently available only in the US and UK and the easiest way to acquire them is through a plan with a carrier like EE, and Vodafone in UK or Sprint and Verizon in the US.
Who is making 5G a reality?
Now as we know what is so good and bad about 5G, let's see what are some of the companies which make it possible for us to use the 5G network.
The server CBinsights.com outlines 20 companies that are involved in 5G development. I strongly recommend you read their report because they base it on reputable resources. I will make sure to look for the more recent information. This report Is from April of 2019. With the pace at which news aboout 5G is released I strongly belive that there is more news to be had regarding this.
You can expect a big update soon
I know that I have decided to go into a big deal of work by focusing on 5G development. The changes are fast-paced and this post will be updated with more details as they are confirmed by reputable sources.
When you search the internet for the news about 5G, there is usually some confirmed facts and some rumors entangled into one article. As it is my take on all of this I want to focus on the details which are confirmed. Such a process of confirming sources and keeping up with the latest data may take some time. So please bare with me on this.
If you have further questions about 5G feel free to post them down in the comments and I will make sure to implement the answer in some of the future updates.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
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Latest update September 7th 2019
-adding more places were 5G is available.