What is 5G?

Learn more about 5G, the next generation of cellular technology and wireless network, and get answers to common questions.

What is 5G?

5G stands for 5th generation. That’s because it’s the 5th generation of cellular technology. In other words, this is the next big step in the way that people, devices, and businesses can stay connected. 

How is 5G better than 4G and LTE?

5G has the potential to deliver faster data, offer lower latency, help save energy, and potentially enable exciting improvements in applications like virtual reality and autonomous cars. And just like LTE gave rise to new applications previously unheard of, like app stores, video calling, ridesharing, and other innovations, 5G has the potential to unleash a whole new wave of uses that haven’t been thought of yet.  

What is latency?

Latency is the term used to describe the amount of time it takes for a connected device to transmit a message and get back a response. A shorter latency means a faster response from one connected device to another. Low latency is especially important for things like online gaming, where epic wins need quick reaction times.

Will 5G work on any phone?

While you can still get phone service on a phone that’s not 5G-capable, you won’t be able to enjoy the extra benefits of 5G service unless you also have a 5G phone. Of course, you’ll also need to have a plan that provides access to 5G service and be in a location where 5G coverage is available. Not every smartphone, tablet, or other device will be 5G capable, though more and more 5G compatible devices are being launched from many popular device manufacturers.  

Will a 5G phone work on any plan?  

While 5G phones will function using 4G LTE on a plan that doesn’t provide 5G access, you won’t be able to enjoy 5G quality service. For example, if your plan only offers 4G service and you have a 5G phone, your phone will only get a 4G level of service. That’s why it’s so important to also have a wireless plan with 5G access. You should also keep in mind that even if you have both a 5G phone and a rate plan with 5G access, you’ll still need to be in an area where 5G is currently available to enjoy the full 5G experience.