5G wireless is a radically faster wireless internet that ideally is up to 20 times faster with 120 times less latency than 4G, setting the stage for IoT networking advances and support for new high-bandwidth applications. Though it will be years before the technology reaches its full potential worldwide.
When will Australia get 5G?
Current predictions put 5G in Australia as soon as this year, but the service available to you depends on where you live, whether the carrier has 5G phones yet, and if you want mobile 5G or just 5G internet at home.
Telstra has made 5G technology available to over 200 locations in Australia including Queensland, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, and Toowoomba.
All of those locations have mobile 5G base stations, and once Telstra 5G phones, like the Galaxy S10 5G, are available this year, the network will be accessible anywhere there's 5G coverage. Here’s our article on the Galaxy S10 5G.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn has indicated that it intends to be "amongst the world's first" to launch a 5G network.
What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?
One factor that has led to a lot of consumer dissatisfaction with 4G networks has been congestion during peak times. Though 4G networks can handle huge quantities of data compared to their 3G predecessors, they have their limits. The underlying design of 5G networks is for mass scale device connectivity, to also tie into an expected sharp rise in the number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The core idea here is that every device, and especially those that require consistent connectivity, will be able to get it from 5G networks. In order to effectively handle thousands of clients from a single cell, radical network re-engineering is required from all three of Australia’s networks.
Will you be Paying More for 5G?
Telstra still hasn’t publicly confirmed its pricing strategy for 5G but Mr Penn points to the fact that the telco didn’t differentiate prices during the move from 3G to 4G.
“I think it’s unlikely that the actual core connectivity plans will be differentially priced (for 5G)”, he said.
Samsung’s 5G handset has a price tag north of $2300 so regardless of the connectivity cost, if you want to be one of the first adopters, you will have to fork out quite a bit.