Published on 2022-04-19
Are you wondering if your phone is 5G compatible? If so, you're not alone! Many people are excited about the newest and fastest network available, but there are also many uncertainties, including compatibility. This article will give you all the information you need to know if your phone is 5G compatible and if it's still worth upgrading if it isn't. Keep reading to learn more!
What is 5G?
Before you run out and buy a new smartphone or tablet, you should be aware that not all of them are 5G-compatible. Many current 4G smartphones and tablets won't be able to utilize a cellular network that uses true fifth-generation technology. Understanding what separates today's 4G networks from true fifth-generation ones is important for shoppers in 2018. Here's what you need to know about what will become known as 5G.
Today, most users associate 4G with fast data speeds that enable seamless streaming videos on Netflix and downloading files quickly via Dropbox—and they were right! These first two generations of mobile connectivity—known by their standards number of fourth-generation (4G) and third-generation (3G)—use high-speed wireless protocols to deliver faster data rates over 3G/4G networks. Their fast speeds allow users to stream HD content on a smartphone or download large files quickly when connected via WiFi. However, you should note that these earlier generations aren't fifth-generation; instead, we now have an updated version called true 5G. True 5G will provide even higher speeds than today's 4G networks, enabling more advanced features such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
Additionally, devices using true 5G will seamlessly transition between WiFi and cellular connections without dropping any calls or losing internet connection. This means more reliable connections across all network types. As far as compatibility goes, here's what you need to know:
If you want to use all of the new features offered by next-generation cellular technology, you'll need a device that supports it natively. How do I know if my device can support 5G?:
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF 5G?
While most of us are still figuring out 4G, many wonder what precisely 5G offers. Will it be faster? Is it worth upgrading? The short answer: Yes and yes. But we're here to tell you everything you need to know about 5G and help you decide whether or not it's worth getting on board with. Here are five key benefits offered by 5G that might convince you to make that upgrade—or start saving up for one.
1. Faster download speeds: A big advantage of 5G is its ability to deliver higher download speeds than previous generations, meaning no more waiting around for large files to transfer. You could get downloads up to 20 times faster than before! According to AT&T estimates, users will see a top speed of around 20 gigabits per second (compared with 100 megabits per second today). That means downloading a two-hour HD movie in less than 10 seconds!
2. Higher quality video: Another benefit of 5G is that users can stream video without losing quality. Video resolution has increased steadily over time from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray and now high definition streaming, but 5G promises even better picture quality. It will also enable wireless virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
3. Low latency: One of the biggest drawbacks of current mobile networks is their high latency rate —the time it takes for data packets to travel between source and destination. Real-time gaming is impossible unless users have a high-speed connection (think fiber optic cable). However, low latency rates are a defining feature of 5G technology, making it perfect for applications such as remote surgery or self-driving cars.
4. Unlimited data plans: While unlimited data plans are nothing new, they were generally limited to only specific devices. With 5G coming soon, all carriers will likely offer unlimited data plans for all devices regardless of network capability. If you use your phone frequently throughout the day to stream music or videos and play games, having an unlimited plan may save you money in the long run.
5. Security: Since 5G relies on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, it can offer improved security measures compared with older models. For example, since AI can detect malicious activity far quicker than human operators ever could, attacks can be prevented sooner than later.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR PHONE IS 5G COMPATIBLE
Before you upgrade your device, it's good to check that it can support 5G. To do so, you should look at its radio specifications. These specifications will indicate whether or not your device supports both 4G and 5G and what network bands are supported by both technologies.
The first way to tell if a device is 5G-compatible is by looking at its radio frequency capabilities – specifically, whether designed for 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15 or 16. These two specs are often abbreviated to R15 and R16. If a device has an R15 or R16 designation, it's 5G-ready. If it doesn't have one of these designations, then it won't be able to connect to a 5G network. In other words: A 5G logo on your new smartphone isn't enough information to determine whether or not you'll be able to use 5G networks with that device. You need additional information about how its radio works.
Your second option is to look at your device's operating frequency band(s). All devices sold in North America will be labeled with their operating frequencies. This label provides information on which spectrum bands are used for 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G NR networks. While most devices don't list out their specific frequencies in MHz, they usually list out their 2G/3G/4G LTE band numbers instead (e.g., 850/900/1800/1900 MHz). Once you've identified those numbers, search them online to determine which carrier uses each band number. For example, T-Mobile owns Band 40 (2.5 GHz), while AT&T owns Band 17 (1.7 GHz). With this information, you can then compare your device's frequency bands against those owned by different carriers to see if there are any overlaps. Keep in mind that some older phones might only operate on GSM networks, which aren't compatible with 5G mobile internet speeds anyway. For example, AT&T offers GSM services via its legacy network and does not provide any CDMA services. Any devices manufactured before 2013 will likely be incompatible with AT&T's current network.
Thirdly, you can also look up your device on sites like GSMArena to see if it lists out all of its technical specifications. You can identify whether or not it includes a 5G modem and antenna module. Finally, many manufacturers now include 5G logos on their packaging when selling handsets capable of connecting to 5G networks. However, just because a manufacturer adds a 5G sticker onto its packaging doesn't mean that every model within that series can connect to 5G networks – especially since manufacturers tend to reuse packaging across multiple models from year to year. So, always double-check to ensure that 5G connectivity is listed on your device's spec sheet.
TOP 5 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN 4G AND 5G
5G promises a lot of benefits. A promise that seems truer than ever. But what does 5G mean for you? Here are a few key differences between 4G and 5G.
Faster Speeds: According to Samsung's UK CEO Kevin Packingham, 5G could bring download speeds up to 10 gigabits per second (10 times faster than most current LTE connections). That's fast enough to download an entire movie in just seconds! And since latency will be much lower on 5G networks, streaming live video will be much smoother. Playing games online will feel almost like they do on your console or PC!
More Devices: Right now, there are over 3 billion smartphones worldwide. The number of connected devices will only grow as we move into a world where everything from cars to refrigerators can connect to cellular networks. With so many more devices needing connectivity, 5G has been designed with massive bandwidth in mind.
Better Coverage: One of the biggest issues with 4G today is that coverage isn't always great. Even if you have access to LTE, it might not be available everywhere you go. This is especially true in rural areas and developing countries. Since 5G uses higher frequencies than 4G, its signals don't travel as far—but they also don't get blocked by walls or other objects nearly as easily.-Lower Latency: Latency refers to how long it takes for data to get from one place; to another. For example, latency is how long it takes for your controller input to show up on the screen when you play a game online. Lower latency means less lag time between input and action. For example, when using VR headsets like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, 5G-connected VR gaming experiences would be super smooth and responsive.
Unlimited Downloads: If you've ever gotten close to your monthly data cap with 4G LTE wireless service providers, you know why unlimited plans are so appealing! While carriers aren't yet offering truly unlimited data plans, 5G technology is expected to make these offerings possible. Imagine being able to stream all your favorite shows without worrying about going over your limit! -Higher Capacity: As mentioned above, 5G is better at handling multiple users simultaneously. It also allows for much more data to be transmitted at once; in theory, it should allow us to transmit 100 HD movies simultaneously every single second! Of course, your phone still needs to be able to handle all of that data, but 5G is a step in the right direction.
A Better Experience: Faster speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity add to a better experience overall. Whether you're browsing social media, watching videos, or just chatting with friends and family around the globe, 5G is sure to provide a superior experience compared to 4G.
FUTURE USE CASES OF 5G TECHNOLOGY
What is all of that supposed to mean? When we say 5G, there are two key parts: speed and latency. And both of those things take different types of hardware to achieve. Here's how it works. This may sound like a lot, but what's happening here on a very basic level is that there are two beams—one for downloading data and one for uploading data—and they're hitting each other with these radio waves at 90 degrees, so that no matter where in space you are, you can still get signal. However, more beams mean more devices will be able to connect to 5G at once—potentially as many as 1 million devices at a time. That's why companies are calling it millions of connected devices. Now, let's talk about latency.
Latency is how long it takes for something to happen over a network. It could be anything from loading a website or an app to sending someone else information via email or text. As you might imagine, low latency is really important when playing games online or watching videos—things that require quick responses from your device. So when people talk about low-latency applications, they mean apps like video streaming services and online gaming that need quick responses from their networks to function properly. Most wireless networks have high latency because they use spectrum bands between 600MHz and 6GHz.
However, 5G uses spectrum bands between 24GHz and 100GHz. This high-frequency range gives us much lower latency (less than 1 millisecond) because signals travel shorter distances. Some 5G signals travel less than 10 feet before reaching a cell tower! That's much faster than today's 4G LTE signals which travel around 100 miles before losing connection. 5G also has a higher bandwidth capacity, allowing it to handle multiple streams of data simultaneously without lagging or slowing down service.