If you listen to the marketing hype from cellular carriers, you’d assume that 5G coverage is a huge deal. The newest wireless standard for internet connectivity is certainly faster and more reliable than LTE. But is it something that you need to be concerned about right now?
When was the last time you found that your LTE coverage wasn’t fast enough for your internet needs on your phone? Maybe it’s come up once or twice if you’ve tried to stream a video game, or perhaps if you’ve tried to watch a 4K movie on a train. But outside of these scenarios, does LTE ever really fail you?
For the average user, the answer is probably a resounding “no.” Internet speeds, much like every other aspect of modern technology, are rapidly hitting a plateau where each successive generation is only incrementally better than the previous generation.
None of this is to say that 5G isn’t a big deal in some sense. Apps that use advanced augmented reality capabilities rely heavily on 5G to function. Without the breakneck internet speeds offered by 5G, these experiences wouldn’t have the incoming data to make their digital objects work correctly.
Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionize the internet in practical ways. Telehealth, where a remote doctor can have assistance from a large hospital hundreds of miles away, will be much easier with 5G wireless internet access.
And, as mentioned earlier, streaming 4K content or video games to mobile devices will only become easier as 5G coverage is rolled out. Tech analysts have predicted that the proliferation of high-speed wireless internet could dramatically change how entertainment is consumed.
Movies, TV, and music have all moved away from physical media and into the world of digital streaming. One form of media that has so far resisted the move toward streaming has been video games. Streaming a game requires so much more bandwidth and processing power since it requires constant communication between the player and the server running the game.
With 5G services becoming more available, it’s easier to see a future where even video games become a streaming staple. But, for now, do you need a phone capable of using the new standard? That depends entirely on how much you stream games and how you feel about augmented reality.