After years of hype about gigabit speeds that will let you download full-length movies in mere seconds, 5G is close to becoming a reality. Last year we saw the first taste of 5G as Verizon in the States launched a home broadband service using the next-generation wireless technology and AT&T brought 5G service to a dozen cities.
This year will see the launch of actual 5G wireless networks along with phones that will run on them, unfortunately, only in the states. Verizon will flip the switch on its mobile 5G network April 11, beginning in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. Verizon’s first 5G smartphone will be the Moto Z3, and that its 5G service can be added to any unlimited plan and will cost an extra $10 a month. Typically American prices are much cheaper than what we can expect to find her in the Great White North.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G may be the first true 5G phone, not retrofitted, out of the gate, but other phone makers, including LG and Huawei, have announced 5G devices of their own. The Samsung S10 5G is expected to launch later this year.
The new networking standard is not just about faster smartphones. Higher speeds and lower latency will also make new experiences possible in augmented and virtual reality, connected cars and the smart home, in fact, any realm where machines need to talk to each other constantly and without lag.
Apple will reportedly wait until next year to release a 5G smartphone, preferring to wait until all the kinks have been worked out and 5G is more widely available.
So, what to do. First of all, everything happens later in Canada, so don’t go rushing out thinking that anting that has 5G stamped on it is part of the upcoming network. Buy your next phone on what available today, and down the road worry about the new network.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard