Is the 5G era really coming?

By Huihua Nui

The word ‘5G’ has become a hot topic worldwide. As the first world enters the 5G era, it could bring about major changes in the living environment and social life of mankind.

But has 5G actually launched and when will we enter the 5G era? This is the question posed by every technology enthusiast.

The first operator to launch 5G services in the UK was EE, as they started with the four UK capital cities, as well as, Birmingham and Manchester in May.

EE have also began to roll out 5G in Bristol, Coventry and Leicester.

In 2019/20, EE aim to switch on 5G sites in 26 UK cities with Glasgow in Scotland awaiting the launch of the service: 5G services launched by EE’s competitor O2 are now available in areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds and by the end of 2019, they’re planning to bring 5G network to areas of 20 towns and cities, such as Edinburgh, Coventry, Leeds, London and Cardiff with the aim of reaching 50 cities in total by the summer of 2020.

5G is eventually spreading across the UK with network operators. –Source: Digital TV Europe

Since Giffgaff is reliant on O2, it hasn’t made any comments about the launch of a 5G service. Therefore, Giffgaff can’t launch the service until O2 does unless it switches its network partner. O2 has said that it will start rolling out 5G from October 2019.

EE and O2 aren’t they only providers making moves, with Vodafone growing their 5G services, launching 5G in 30 towns and cities across the UK.

On their website, customers can easily check if their area is covered by the 5G network.

The race is on for network companies to launch 5G services as soon as possible to get the better of the rest of the market, although many operators have encountered teething problems.

Three mobile has delayed the launch of 5G mobile services on its network until early next year, saying it needs more time to get it ready.

The operator launched Fixed Wireless Access services on 5G in central London earlier this August and intended to offer mobile services in 25 towns and cities before the end of 2019.

They said that it had ‘doubled the number of 5G masts in the capital, and upgraded more than 1,400 sites to 5G already,’ although the operator wanted to make sure all elements of the network were in order before it launched commercially.

A new report from Global Wireless Solutions has benchmarked the 5G mobile performance of EE, Vodafone and O2 networks in London, which overall found that they were delivering download speeds around 3 to 4 times faster than 4G, although the latency times of 35 to 40 milliseconds weren’t much better than 4G and a far cry from the sub-10 millisecond goal.

In the future, 5G technology will become more and more mature, it will gradually spread to the corner of every city.

In order to take advantage of 5G, users will need to dip into their pockets for needing a 5G phone, a 5G sim, a 5G tariff before ensuring they are in a 5G coverage area.

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