All you need to know about 5G
The next generation of mobile internet is undeniably a hot topic of conversation, but this week it’s been on everyone’s tongue for all the wrong reasons. Going against security warnings, the UK Government have just allowed Huawei restricted access to the nation’s new 5G data network. Such news is particularly controversial because of the Chinese phone company’s somewhat sketchy reputation. Despite the fact that Huawei have recently released their quarterly financials in an effort to prove their innocence, the US’s claim that the company are using their tech for espionage has already firmly stamped its black mark on the brand.
The company categorically denies all allegations, but the government’s decision to allow them to supply 5G gear, which was leaked from the National Security Council this week, has caused a huge stir amidst fears that some parts of the new network will be an easier target for those wishing to gain intelligence. Indeed, 5G technology will allow data to be transferred at 20 times the rate of its predecessor, the comparatively sluggish 4G. Huweii would not have access to the more vulnerable core of the network, but this may not do much in the way of dispelling cyber-security fears.
In a slightly more promising turn of events, EE have announced that they will trial 5G at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, which will take place at its home on Worthy Farm this summer. The network will be setting up five temporary masts across 900 acres to provide wifi for an internet-hungry crowd. The organisers have noted how much more data is being consumed by the Instagram generation, and hope that this test will allow festival-goers to upload as much multimedia content as they want at unprecedented speeds.
Those who wish to use 5G when it rolls out officially will, of course, have to buy a compatible handset. Samsung have just announced that the next Galaxy Note 10 will incorporate 5G technology, which is unsurprising considering their previous announcement of the Galaxy S10 5G. Other than offerings from Samsung and rival Huawei’s Mate X (with foldable screen technology), the LG V50 ThinQ and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, ZTE Axon 10 Pro and Moto Z3 have all be confirmed to be 5G-ready, all of the models set to be released in 2019.
It may not be a necessary upgrade for everyone, but for those who enjoy downloading or uploading large files, streaming films or running demanding applications over the internet, 5G could be worth the investment, if only to reduce your buffering time. Online gaming will also undoubtedly benefit from the tech, with faster loading for sites and less chance of lagging gameplay. If you’re unsure, the easiest option is probably to step back and watch it roll out for the first few months. 5G is undoubtedly the future of smartphones and it’s not going anywhere; before long it might even be your only option. Bearing this in mind, you may want to consider revelling in the (relative) safety of your data for the time being.
The editorial unit