The tech industry is gearing up for 5G, which promises bigger and better network access, graphics, and digital capabilities. However, 5G might not be all it’s cracked up to be, especially as it walks on shaky legs into decision makers’ and end users’ hands this year, Gizmodo says.
In fact, there are three main areas that decision makers should watch out for as 5G is deployed:
- Limited availability – According to Gizmodo, the number of available 5G networks will be limited; that means only certain areas, namely cities like LA, Sacramento, Houston and Indianapolis, will have 5G coverage. Outside of those areas, “there’s very little 5G signal to be found.” Plus, some network providers will be behind the eight ball when it comes to providing 5G. For example, Gizmodo says “Sprint doesn’t have 5G coverage of any kind and will be starting from scratch when it launches 5G in…May.” AT&T is providing 5G coverage in 12 cities, although only within a “select area” in each of those cities; Verizon is offering “5G hotspots” for home users, but also only in “limited areas.”
- High cost – Gizmodo anticipates that the cost of technology that can handle 5G is going to skyrocket. Decision makers and end users looking to invest in 5G should expect to buy new devices that can support the network demands, and plan to spend $1,000 or more on their purchases. For example, Gizmodo reports that Samsung has listed prices for some of its new 5G devices: $750 for the new Galaxy S10E, $900 for the S10, $1,000 for the S10+, and $2,000 for the Galaxy Fold. “That’s a lot of extra dough to spend on a phone for somewhat nebulous benefits” Gizmodo says. Plus, phone plans will most likely “cost more than normal,” something that hasn’t been addressed by carriers just yet.
- Where are the apps? – While 5G promises to power and connect popular tech like drones, cars with cell connections, TVs, etc., those “apps don’t really exist yet,” Gizmodo says. Currently, 5G users might be able to play multiplayer video games lag-free, but that’s it for now. Otherwise, “as far as 2019 goes, the main groups that might be able to use mobile 5G effectively are businesses that can take advantage of all that bandwidth to send massive files securely back and forth between various off-site locations,” Gizmodo says.
As a result, decision makers and end users alike should watch 5G trends this coming year, especially as network providers offer it and new devices are developed. While it’s slow going so far, Gizmodo says that “5G is still the future.”