Get Ready, 5G Smartphones are Coming in 2019
5G cellular networks exist, but there isn’t much you can do to access them unless you’re one of the lucky few that live in testing areas with specialized technology. However, that is all about to change. Verizon and Samsung announced in a joint-statement that they are going to sell a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. The companies did not specify which phones would support 5G, though Samsung typically announces its latest iteration of the Galaxy S around this time.
Samsung’s decision to sell 5G phones would mean that the rest of the smartphone market would be close to follow, as the smartphone maker is one of the largest in the world. One competitor seemingly positioned to miss out on the upcoming 5G revolution is Apple, alluding it will sit out the 5G race in 2019 to better position itself for 2020.
While a 5G smartphone brings about new, exciting possibilities, existing 5G networks still need quite a bit of work to reach the level of coverage that existing 4G networks have. Verizon currently operates a 5G network in a handful of cities, along with AT&T shortly behind them. T-Mobile and Sprint lag far behind them, with considerably less 5G rollout. Verizon and AT&T both lack specific 5G rollout plans, though they both plan to bring more cities under its blanket of coverage in 2019 and 2020.
The advent of 5G networks will allow for networks speeds much faster than current 4G networks. While specific speeds are still up for debate, Verizon lab tests estimate that they will top out at speeds 100 times faster than 4G. When accounting for millions of people on the network simultaneously, these speeds are reduced to about 10 times faster, still a major upgrade.
Not only are 5G smartphones an existing possibility, but 5G networks will also become a major selling point for broadband and business customers. They will become a replacement for wired internet connections in homes, and can even be used as a replacement for traditional TV. Verizon already offers a free subscription to YouTube TV for 5G customers in select cities.
All of these possibilities are a thrilling glimpse into the future of how we communicate and use the internet, but in the meantime, these companies have quite a bit of infrastructure to upgrade in order to make these networks feasible for use by millions of people.