Should You Be Charged for Using 5G?
- What is 5G?
- How Much Does 5G Cost in Australia?
- Which Phones are 5G-Ready?
We are entering another era in wireless technology as we have upgraded from 4G to 5G. These days, most of the smartphones all have built-in support for 5G despite the wireless network never having been fully launched yet.
In Australia, internet service providers like Telstra have already begun charging some of their customers for the 5G network. Meanwhile, other ISPs such as Vodafone and Optus have also begun launching their own 5G services and will most likely be charging their customers soon as well.
Nevertheless, should you be charged extra for it?
In this guide, you will know more about the following:
- What is 5G?
- How fast is the 5G network?
- Is 5G Safe?
- How much does 5G cost in Australia?
- Which phones are 5G-ready?
- Should you pay for 5G?
What is 5G?
5G is the upgrade of the 4G wireless network, improving what the latter already delivers, especially in three key areas: network speed, the number of devices that could connect to it, as well as latency.
Not many know this, but there’s actually a limit on how many devices could usefully connect to a network. Since 5G is an upgrade, it increases the limit so that more devices could communicate all at the same time.
Meanwhile, latency means the length of time it takes for a signal to reach its destination and back again. For 4G networks, the average latency takes 60 milliseconds. For 5G, it will be lowered to 1 millisecond, meaning it’s faster, allowing you to stream videos with less to no delays. Plus, there should be an increase in the quality of video conferences.
Basically, the 5G network allows you to do everything online faster and better.
How Fast is the 5G Network?
Perhaps what everyone is waiting for is the speed that comes with the 5G network. Its predecessor has actually quite a solid performance, which is why everyone is excited for 5G. According to reports, it can receive a maximum rate of 20Gbps, making it perfect for video streaming, video conferencing, and even online gaming and downloading.
However, you have to remember that the actual speed you get may depend on your device’s hardware along with a few other factors, so you won’t always get 20Gbps. But if there’s any consolation, the minimum speed you’ll get is around 50 to 100Mbps, which is already the fastest speed that most ISPs and fixed-line NBN connections.
In comparison with the 4G network, 5G speeds are ten times faster than the former’s minimum speeds.
The average speed of 5G networks in Australia is around 200Mbps, which is more than the current average speed of 4G networks in the country.
Is 5G Safe?
Before 5G could roll out properly, tons of people unfortunately believed conspiracy theories that it’s not safe for their health. Apparently, rumours began when the coronavirus pandemic started early 2020, right when 5G was being rolled out.
Soon enough, people began associating the wireless network to the virus, and people legitimately thought it would cause certain illnesses such as cancer or virus transmission. But before you get anxious about using 5G, this theory does not have any scientific basis, and 5G is completely safe.
5G is exactly the same technology as 4G and 3G, but it’s using a slightly different frequency.
How Much Does 5G Cost in Australia?
With such an amazing feat, how much would 5G cost in Australia?
For now, all you really need to pay for is a monthly plan from your internet service provider, with an additional fee for a 5G-capable device. This bundle plan is available on Telstra, and it seems like Vodafone and Optus are following suit with a bunch of new plans, including the latest flagship devices that support 5G wireless tech.
When it comes to Telstra, you can already get 5G access with their Medium plan that provides you with 80GB every month for $65.
Meanwhile, Optus has apparently lowered their 5G home internet connection plans compared to the current 4G plans. For a monthly fee of $70 for the 24-month contract, you already get an unlimited data plan, plus a 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee. They do have a $65 for their 4G plans, but you only get 200GB, which may not be enough for some people. Additionally, their $75 4G plan only gets you 500GB.
However, not everyone can enjoy a 5G network from Optus currently. They would have to confirm whether your home address has access to 5G home internet before they will allow you to change your plans.
Basically, 5G hasn’t been exactly rolled out everywhere, which means it will be quite a struggle to get a solid 5G signal these days in Australia. This is one thing you’ll have to keep in mind before jumping on the bandwagon.
On the other hand, Vodafone has only recently rolled out its 5G service, and the process is still ongoing. With very limited access to the upgraded network, the company hasn’t released 5G plans yet, but expect to see them soon as 5G becomes more common in Australia.
Which Phones are 5G-Ready?
Since wireless internet technology is upgrading, you’ll most likely have to upgrade your phone as well to ensure it supports 5G when it’s finally released in its full glory.
Here are a few phones that already 5G capable:
- LG V50 ThinQ
- OPPO Reno
- Samsung Galaxy A90
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
- Samsung Galaxy S20+
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S10
You can get these phones separately or with bundles from your internet service provider.
Should You Pay for 5G?
Now that we have more in-depth knowledge of 5G in Australia, is it worth it? Should you be paying for it?
When it comes to speeds and reliability, 5G is definitely better than 4G, making it easier to connect online. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been fully rolled out yet, so getting a new device for the mere fact that it’s 5G capable as well as paying for the network when you’re unable to get a solid 5G signal in Australia might not be the best idea--for now.
In the future, though, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to 5G to experience what it can offer.