What is 5G?

11 January 2021

Technology

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We went ahead and asked our Digital team some questions about 5G since we’ve been getting a lot of queries about it.

What is 5G?

5G is the next evolution of wireless mobile telecommunications aimed at addressing the future challenges in the areas of connectivity, speed and quality of service.

What is the difference between the 4G we currently have, and 5G? Why is 5G better?

5G is purely as an evolution of 4G. This is confirmed by the fact that many operators are initially introducing 5G by repurposing the technology originally used for 3G. In this initial configuration, referred to as Non Standalone (NSA), your connection uses 4G and 5G connectivity depending on the user’s handset and data requirements, at the given point in time. In simple terms, your service will automatically switch between 4G and 5G.

How does 5G affect our home internet service?
5G presents an opportunity to further enhance your home internet experience through the use of either Hybrid or Fixed Wireless Access technologies. It also provides a viable alternative solution for rural areas where fixed access is problematic and expensive to deploy.

How does 5G affect our mobile internet service?
5G is up to 100 times faster than 4G reaching 10 gigabits per second. While downloading a movie can take close to an hour on 4G, with 5G it will take only couple of minutes.

Can all phones connect to 5G?
For a phone to be able to connect to 5G it must be 5G enabled. This means that the handset needs to have an internal chipset which is able to transmit, receive and decode 5G signals.

Do all countries have 5G?
Not all countries have 5G at the moment. The first deployments in Europe started in late 2019 and progressed in 2020. For the time being these have mostly been proof of concept deployments which allow engineers to better understand and optimise the technology. This was further slowed down by the limited availability of handsets and 5G devices in the market. As the 5G ecosystem consolidates and handset technology evolves, the situation is expected to change in 2021. Probably 2021 will see deployment of 5G on a wider commercial scale as handset vendors play catch up with the technology.

When is 5G going to be introduced in Malta?
It is very likely that 2021 will see the first limited deployment of 5G in Malta.

When will GO introduce 5G? Will it be expensive?
We are working actively on this! Stay tuned…