Everything you need to know about 5G in Australia

5G in Australia: Status updates

Demand for lightning-fast internet speeds are at an all-time high as more Australians rely on:

  • the cloud,
  • mobile technologies, and
  • the Internet of Things.

One hotly anticipated technology that can help users achieve trailblazing internet connections is 5G. It will take some time before it becomes fully available throughout Australia. However, 5G is going to have a massive impact on how consumers and businesses stay connected.

What is 5G?

Fifth-generation wireless network, or 5G, is optimised for speed using ‘millimetre wave signals’ that transfer large amounts of data in a short amount of time. For over eight years, the internet speeds on most people’s phones have been powered by 4G LTE connections. Many people are using such connections to load websites and download content.  However, it does suffer from high latency and service issues, especially when many people are connected to the network. 5G eliminates these issues, and promises to deliver stable, responsive service to all users.

How fast is 5G?

5G will set new records for mobile network speeds. Theoretically, 5G could reach up to 20Gbps, which is 20 times faster than 4G LTE connections. Even telco carrier Optus was able to achieve download speeds of around 2Gbps in real-world, sub-optimal conditions, which is still considerably faster than commercial broadband services.

To put this into context, these speeds enable you to load web pages instantaneously, download massive files in minutes, and enjoy 4K video streaming.

In addition to gigabit speeds, 5G has the capacity to support a million devices and data connections per square kilometre. This means, if you were to connect to 5G in a densely populated area, you won’t experience service interruptions or lag like you would with 4G networks. That’s because 4G can only support so many devices before being congested and slowed down.

When is 5G expected to go live?

Experts previously expected 5G to go live as soon as 2020, but recent reports found that Telstra will deploy their network on June 30, 2019. The major telco provider already has 5G stations located in Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, and the Gold Coast, but whether phone manufacturers will release commercial 5G-ready devices at the same time is another matter entirely.

Optus will also be among the first to release 5G services next year, followed by Vodafone in 2020. The downside is, even though carriers will roll out their 5G network early, nationwide coverage might not be available for a few more years. These services will initially cover metropolitan areas across Australia.

What should you expect with 5G?

5G is set to enhance and enable various technologies. For starters, remote employees who rely on VoIP and video chat software to communicate with co-workers will no longer have quality of service issues when they’re connected to 5G.

What’s more, faster data transfer rates and reduced network congestion will drastically improve IoT technology. Healthcare institutions, for example, can use 5G to quickly download and analyse data from wearable health trackers to provide personalised, more accurate diagnoses.

Despite these benefits, however, people won’t necessarily be queuing up to buy 5G mobile contracts as soon as the technology arrives. These plans will likely be more expensive than high-tiered 4G plans at first, so widespread adoption will be slow, especially with cost-conscious users.

Will 5G replace NBN?

The introduction of 5G could mean trouble for the National Broadband Network (NBN) because it’s not as fast as the mobile network. Aside from speed, installing NBN cables is also a lot more work than purchasing a SIM card and subscribing to a 5G plan.

On the other hand, 5G’s reliability depends on how far you are from the nearest cell tower. 5G may also be more expensive since you pay for data plans as opposed to NBN plans that offer unlimited data at different internet speeds.

Instead of opting for one or the other, there’s no reason that the two services can’t complement each other. 5G can be used for mobile devices and IoT gadgets, while NBN services can be used in the office.

Do you need to upgrade your technology?

Those who do wish to get on the 5G bandwagon early will need to upgrade their technology. Current mobile devices don’t support this network, but major phone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sony are working on it.

5G has the potential to transform the way you do business. If you want to be one of the early adopters of this technology, contact Empower IT Solutions. We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments in network technologies and recommend ideal solutions for your business.