5G has launched in Ireland and as expected it is a soft launch if you will and it will be another 3/4 years deploying out across the country due to the infrastructure involved and how 5G actually works. For now we have 5G in Dublin,Cork,Limerick,Galway and Waterford.
What choice do I have?
Off the bat you are already restricted by plans and choice of handset which for now there is only two handsets available here however in other regions there is more handsets of choice but that will change. iPhones are out of the question for at least a year and will have no effect on the roll-out of 5G here unlike Android devices which will lead the way for early adopters to the new high speed service and for now we have the Huawei Mate 20X and the Samsung S10 5G and later of course the Note 10 which is launching soon will have a 5G variant great powerful smartphones but expensive.
Cost straight away is going to be a niggle for those who want to jump on now with these devices costing over €1000 sim free and the market for those devices is slowly dying for the latest and greatest due to lower priced phones coming in at half the price we are now at a stage where the expensive phone is a status symbol again and I cant wait to see the price of iPhones when they do have 5G on board but you will get the sheep defending this. There will be limited plans to begin with too so your are caught here for now.
We dont have too rely on Vodafone as eir and Three will be soon on the 5G service by the end of the year or early next year and MVNOs will surely follow on after this.. This is probably when we will see the cost come down on moving onto a 5G plan.
eSIMS they are a thing now..
eSims can be a standalone sim or it is embedded into your smartphone but this is another part of the equation that will take years to work out what is best and in hindsight its a battle for the providers along with 5G itself, A traditional sim is a win for providers as you are locked onto a plan and if you travel much this is where one issue sits. When we travel we like to either buy a local sim or just take the flack and get an add on before you travel and this is where the money is and if you go over you miserable data allowance you are hammered.
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eSims allow you to connect where you travel too once there is a roaming agreement in the region you go too, so this cuts out the local sim purchase and it can loose revenue for a provider, eSims are now also available in laptops too which is great for business and enterprise customers so you now see why the eSim is a problem however Vodafone are ahead in this arena keeping people connected. If now you are roaming on a standard 5G sim you will be able to use in the states on different bands which might cause issues as some travel over shorter distances which will drop your signal back to 4G this will be exactly the same thing here as it currently is now on 4G you automatically skip onto 3G for example when your signal drops. Yes there is still many blackspots in Ireland that leave you with just EDGE..
Have a read of the 5G SPECTRUM POSITIONS
5G in the states with The MR MOBILE..
This will be the next question people ask about 5G and routers yes they will be available such as D-Link for example yet this will still only work in a 5G area its not the same thing as 5ghz as people often confuse this with 5G. 5G is on a cellular service and 5ghz is the spectrum you can connect your router to, As it stands we have 2.4/5 ghz routers in our homes. There is also an argument to be had on how dangerous these are with EMF and there is even counter EMF products on sale right now but do they work? 5G routers will plug into your broadband as opposed to the cable or modem jack we are familiar with. But are these dangerous. NO.
What do you need to get 5G?
First of all you do not need to get a new sim card as your current one will suffice however I always suggest changing your sim even if on pre-pay at least every 18 month but with people moving between providers today your sim should be fine and up to date however I have had many people contact me about reception and so on any they have not changed their sim in years,they are using older devices and happy with them and wonder why the service is poor,this though is mainly the older generation but some middle aged folk who are just happy with what they have and either top up monthly or just let the bills come and ignore the upgrade,sell their upgrade if on a bill and get a free phone and move along.
After that you just need the plan,compatible phone and of course be in the 5G zones.There will be an onslaught of 5G ready phones in the next year you will then have choice and for now these devices are just too expensive but more manufacturers are now making 5G chips which will bring the cost down and have the ability to switch from 5G to 4G vice versa and support dual 5G for another 2 Years at least this is what will happen until 5G becomes commonplace in big cities but in rural areas you will be waiting longer.
What will 5G do for me and the consumer?
5G is the future but some see it as a huge health risk I will touch on that later. We are now settling into IoT quite well with many of us having it in our homes and comfortable with it,until the recent news of listening in arose anyway which some tech people say it is not true,it is true but to an extent nonetheless we do not like it but its there to advance the technology going forward. 5G will change everything going forward, At the moment we do not have the bandwidth to support these technologies but with Autonomous driving being one key player relying on 5G ( In Ireland it will be another 5-10 years before this is a thing) now we have medical,farming,security,connected homes,gaming are just some examples that will benefit from 5G as well as us the consumer who can enjoy faster downloads. Also some of note for climate change perhaps it will mean less need to travel with the ability to hold video conferences and the likes but sure look we have Skype and that didn’t really change things much in that regard
Should you buy a 5G phone and plan now??
Personally NO. Given I would like to test it and see just how faster it is, In time I will eventually move onto it when the infrastructure is there and ready,given it is available in parts of Ireland and the world its a flaky experience depending where you are. For now its guinea pig time ie testing in the real world and before a decent number of people on the network we have to see how latency plays out etc, Yes all those things that are a contributing factor to the internet and mobile that apply today with congestion etc. I will wait until there is more phones and see what prices are available later in the year unless I get to try it for myself. #cough #cough.
The birds and the bees and the bullshit that exists with 5G
Awaits the anti 5G brigade to burn me. No… I have had several heated debates about 5G on social and on forums alike and it is a tough one, the anti 5G brigade are a tough bunch however mostly coming back with the same information all the time which proves nothing, 5G is a new technology and it will take years to yield and type of factual evidence,the same thing we had with 4G and you can bet right now we will see the same thing come the next revolution which we can assume will be 6G.
One report being shot at me HERE and this famous video on You Tube, All this just like chemtrails and the likes will fall under the conspiracy theories radar big time the same as birds are ignoring or flying away from 5G towers and the networks play down the bad press they are getting by such folk however there is no real hard evidence out there to suggest it is dangerous, Real world testing is not a standard now as 5G is not a standard and it will be a long time before it is,perhaps then it will tell a different story but for now it is busted. I have even had the pleasure of questioning a certain ACI anti 5G campaigner whom blocked me when I scalded her on twitter which is a pure sign of defeat right there.
What is 5G
It is the next evolution of mobile with faster speeds up to or over 1000mbps, but has its drawbacks not only with the service but smartphones too recent testing has seen overheating and it will have an effect on your battery, 5G will need more nodes and this will take time and will only work effectively with a direct line of sight this will have problems when it comes to penetrating buildings,travel distance and other aspects can have an effect on its performance it is new here but has been trialled and tested in the states now and the results are in, It will be no different here and it is going to take a long time before it becomes a standard and costly. Also worth noting there is no standards set for 5G coverage yet so this will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year or two bringing me back to what I said earlier about blackspots and coverage as it stands there is laws set for 3G/4G but not 5G see more HERE
In short 5G will mean faster speeds,downloads and with IoT faster actions especially if you have connected devices in your home, for example switches,lights,wireless cameras etc you will not see a lag, no buffering on streaming or downloads and a much more reliable connection than ever before this will pave the way forward for other technology and help in current as mentioned earlier but is it worth jumping on the 5G bandwagon right now? Hell No.
Data consumption is another worry here for people as I have been asked, You will not use more in theory however with the ease of downloads you might forget and download material to your hearts content and that is where you need to keep an eye on things,The same applies if streaming a fine example is how you stream be it on 720p,1080p or 4K. For now 4K is not much of a worry but there is services that offer it.
Read more on Vodafone about their 5G
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