5G Internet Is Here

1 March 2018, 12:05

5G internet
Picture: other
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

Welcome to the future

5G internet, the future of mobile internet connection, is already arriving in some major US cities. T-Mobile says it will have 5G-ready networks ready in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Dallas (among other cities), by the end of the year.

How fast is 5G?

5G is a significent step up from 4G. Here's a snapshot of some recent estimates of how fast 5G could be:

- File download speeds of more than 186 Mbps for 90 percent of 5G users, compared to 10 Mbps for 4G, a 1,826 percent increase in speed.

Browsing download speeds increasing from 71 Mbps for the median 4G user to 1.4 Gbps for the median 5G user. That's very fast.

- Approximately 23x faster responsiveness, with median browsing download latency reduced from 115ms to 4.9ms. 'Latency' is a technical term that means the delay between asking your internet to do something and it actually doing it. For example, when you hit play on Netflix, latency will affect how fast the show actually starts.

- The median 5G file download speed was 442 Mbps (megabytes per second). A song from iTunes is roughly 4 megabytes in size, meaning you could download about 110 of them in a single second.

What phones can use 5G?

So far, there are no mainstream mobile phones on the market that can use 5G. However, you can expect to see 5G phones begin to flood the market in 2019, as 5G becomes 'the next big thing', just as 4G was only a few years ago. With those 5G networks already being put in place, users will be able to turn on their phone and get browsing at blistering speeds right away.