What is 5G broadband?


The internet has become a form of technology that’s vital for billions of people around the world. It has become a form of IT that’s used daily to check and send emails, make purchases online, find out information, and post on social media channels.

Only a few decades ago, the internet was mainly accessed using a PC or laptop. This meant that you would be restricted to a single physical location when you wanted to surf the web or use online applications. In the last decade, the rollout of internet-ready smartphones has continued at a rapid pace, and it’s now estimated that 6.84 billion smartphones are used by the global population.

With an ever-increasing number of consumers using these devices, mobile broadband has become the key way to access the internet when you’re away from your home Wi-Fi connection or public Wi-Fi areas. At present, the fastest form of mobile broadband is from the 5G network. This article focuses on 5G broadband with a brief discussion of what it is, typical speeds (in terms of download speeds) that can be achieved, and some issues to consider when planning to use 5G broadband networks.

5G Vs. 3G and 4G


Firstly, it’s important to consider 5G broadband in the context of earlier forms of mobile broadband. 3G mobile broadband was the first form of mobile internet access that allowed users to enjoy video calls on their phones and send and receive emails as quickly as could be achieved with computers from the era.

3G networks were first rolled out in Japan in 1998. The popularity of this new form of mobile internet access soon became apparent, and other countries quickly began to adopt the technology, creating the communications infrastructure to support it. 11 years later, in 2008, the next generation of mobile internet was rolled out, initially in Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway. It was known as 4G and offered improvements in the speed of data transfer, allowing larger volumes of information to be sent and retrieved more quickly. This allowed for the streaming of content in higher levels of definition than could previously be achieved with the 3G network.

At present, 5G broadband is the fastest form of mobile internet. It’s still in the process of being rolled out globally, and many countries still don’t have the infrastructure to support the new network. However, the technology has a complicated history and only received the beginning of a global rollout in 2020.

With each generation of mobile broadband access, the rule is that download speeds and bandwidths typically increase, allowing users to access, send, and receive information more quickly.

Typical speeds of 5G

For many tech-minded consumers and smartphone owners, the main question is how fast is 5g mobile broadband. As with the history of 5G, the answer isn’t straightforward. Put simply, the download and upload speed of 5G services will depend a lot on your location (and even your country), the specific 5G network you’re subscribed to, and the device you’re using.

For example, as a very rough average, 5G network download speeds range from 75 Mbps to 238 Mbps in the UK, with a theoretical maximum speed of 10–50 Gbps being potentially available with this network. This is many times faster than the previous 4G network top speeds.

Different countries with different network providers and digital infrastructures may be able to offer higher speeds than this. Most notably, Asian countries such as South Korea can offer faster average download speeds. South Korea gained international recognition in December 2020 by recording an average 5G network speed of over 350 Mbps.

Issues to consider

If you’re considering purchasing 5G broadband for your home internet access or investing in one of the latest 5G phones, there are some important issues to consider. Firstly, it’s of paramount importance that you check the 5G coverage in your area.

Depending on your country and region, 5G coverage can vary widely and may not even be available in your location, especially in rural areas. If you’re planning to buy a 5G smartphone, ensure that you check the coverage provided and ask the retailer to give you an estimate of the expected download and upload speeds that you’ll realistically be able to take advantage of.

If you’re planning to use the 5G network to power your home internet, check the speed and availability in your location and search online to find suitable dongles that will connect your tech devices (such as computers and laptops) to the internet. Ideally, you’ll want to talk to other residents in your area who are using 5G services to see if they gain reliable internet access with fast download and upload speeds.

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