5G is actually turned on in Ireland right now. Vodafone beat the other networks to the punch and have activated 5G in selected areas around Ireland. It’s a pretty big deal, but at the same time, it’s very easy to completely miss why. For that reason, I’m going to lash through some of the key points on 5G and demystify the great unknown in next-generation connectivity.
Q. What is 5G?
We’ve been racking up the Gs in recent years. It feels like only yesterday we were treated to 4G. 4G brought mobile speeds that made video and music streaming on the go actually enjoyable. 5G is the next generation of connectivity on the go. Like 4G, entertainment lovers will benefit as HD movies can be downloaded in a matter of seconds.
5G will also change how much data is shared from our devices and lead to much bigger data being available about our daily lives along with being able to power a bigger than ever world of Internet of Things.
One of the biggest advantages of 5G is the ability to overcome contention. Have you ever been at a concert, sporting event or even a train station during rush hour? Contention on the networks can leave you waiting for internet connectivity. 5G has a much bigger network capacity and as such can overcome contention. Yay!
Q. How fast is 5G?
Over in the States, users have reported speeds of over 1 gigabits per second. That’s a HD movie in a second. Rollout in the US has been problematic with some carriers cloaking their 4G network in a guise of 5G. Given 4G’s theoretical speed limit of 300 megabits per second, it’s not hard to understand how customers noticed fake 5G networks.
5G networks will also allow users to enjoy less latency on their mobile connection. With the likes of Google Stadia launching later this year, this is very exciting news for gaming on the go.
Q. When will 5G arrive in Ireland?
5G has already landed! Vodafone launched 5G on 13.08.2019 in selected spots around the country. It’s expected that Eir and Three will also roll out 5G before the end of 2019.
Q. What do I need to start using 5G?
- A 5G compatible phone
- a 5G activated phone plan
- Be in a 5G supported area
Q. Where is 5G available?
Vodafone has only rolled out 5G to selected areas in Ireland. Among the counties involved in the rollout are Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
Q. Will 5G work on my phone?
It’s very unlikely that you have a 5G compatible phone. Put it this way. If you bought one, you’d have known you bought it. 5G will only start appearing as standard on phones, from the absolute earliest, next year.
Q. Is iPhone 5G ready?
I’m afraid not. If you want to adopt technology earlier, I’m not sure why you’re using iPhone. It will likely be late 2020 before we see a 5G iPhone.
Q. Which phones are 5G ready?
The first 5G phone in the Irish market will be the Huawei Mate 20X. We’re waiting for particulars on the price, but the Chinese manufacturer will take the title of first 5G handset in Ireland.
They’ll be followed by the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, a special variant of their flagship smartphone.
Q. Will 5G be more expensive?
If we look at history, networks generally start to add the latest signal power to their plans be default. This was the case for 4G anyway. Vodafone isn’t planning price increases but will offer 5G on their existing €40, €60 and €80 plans.
Q. Will I use more data on 5G?
I was working in a phone shop during the 4G rollout and this was the most asked question back then too. 5G won’t enable you to use more data. A 1GB movie is still 1GB. In theory, you can probably stream more but 5G itself won’t cause you to use more data.
Q. Will I need a new SIM card?
Another win here. Back during the 4G launch, many networks required you to change your SIM card. For Vodafone and 5G, you’ll just need to put a call into care to activate the plan.
Got more questions? Pop them in the comments below and we’ll update this article as we go.