You've heard of it, you're probably not awaiting it with bated breath, but it's here anyway. We talk, as the title might have given away, of 5G. As a new type of mobile phone connection, this one has got some folk very excited, others worried, and perhaps the greatest number of people asking what the hell it is. After quite a bit of research (and some help from some techno-enthusiast friends), we want to try to demystify the technology, to tell you why you should or shouldn't care.
The Need for Speed
The basic idea behind 5G is that it, in ideal circumstances, it can offer an enormous speed boost over current 4G systems. This is accomplished on two fronts, that of bandwidth and that of latency. In simple terms, bandwidth is the amount of data which can pass through a connection at any given time. Latency, on the other hand, concerns the response time which is incurred when any action over a connection is taken.
5G will also offer a major advantage in that the maximum amount of connections per tower will be effectively increased ten-fold. For most users, the only real appreciable change brought from this technology will be from bandwidth increases, meaning everything will load faster. Current towers rarely hit their user limits, and latency is already low and website dependent, so changes on this front will usually go unnoticed.
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Is 5G Necessary?
The short answer to this question is an emphatic no, at least not usually. Most current mobiles work perfectly on 4G connections, and to illustrate this we'll use an example. Consider online casinos and the range of games that they offer. These games require little in the way of data, with even the larger live casino games easily running just fine on 4G connections.
Players who want to play any of these games, as with almost all games, will have to make no changes to their regular systems to get a perfect experience. Though before opening a new casino account always make sure to check here for the best possible bonus offers, other checks regarding 5G/4G are just not needed.
So, what’s the purpose? Well, there are rare cases in video and gaming where 5G might prove useful. For example, 4k streaming, while not popular on mobiles, would benefit from 5G speeds. The same can be said for mobile gaming systems like Stadia. These might not be popular now, but in the future, these could play a much bigger part in our everyday lives, and in this 5G is futureproofing.
What About Health Concerns?
There is some talk in some circles (Facebook groups we’re looking at you), that 5G radio waves can be harmful to humans. Readers can rest assured that such concerns are utter bunk, reaching similar scientific standing as homoeopathy, horoscopes, or soothsaying.
Such complaints consistently follow around cell towers, as was the case in 2010 when an older tower was shut down by residents who claimed it gave those in the area ill-effects such as headaches, nausea, and rashes. The only problem with this claim is that the tower was turned off during the time, whoops!
Unless you're an enthusiastic early adopter or enthusiast, there is little reason to rush out and buy a 5G phone at this point. While the 5G coverage map is still increasing constantly, it should be noted that the range on these systems is more limited than the forebearers. Maybe consider an upgrade with your next device if you live or operate in a coverage area, but otherwise, most of us will be better of waiting a few years before taking up 5G.