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5G is coming, but where? And why you should care

Sooner or later, 5G will be the standard for wireless data. Faster than 4G LTE and 3G before it, 5G makes use of more millimeter wavebands in order to provide for a much faster data connection, one that will undoubtedly make life a bit better.

While 5G is set to begin rolling out, it will not arrive without its share of controversy. Current networks are not built to handle 5G, so changes to our infrastructure must happen before it can be accessed.

Sooner or later 5G will be widespread, but while you would think cities would be lining up to have the technology bestowed upon them, it turns out there is a bit of a battle brewing over where it will go first.

Please don’t ruin our vibe

Unlike current cellular networks, which work via large towers that are placed far apart, 5G will require smaller equipment that is placed an average of 500 feet away from each other. While the idea of smaller boxes may be more appealing than large towers, the sheer number of them that would have to exist is something many communities are not particularly excited about.

The thing is, they may not have much of a choice.

Governments at both the local and federal level have been hearing from both sides — communities who want more say in what is built and cellphone companies who want more freedom to build — with both trying to help set future policy.

And while cellular companies are claiming the new technology will not be an eyesore for neighborhoods, they do admit there will be a high number of devices because more will be necessary to ensure full coverage. Whereas there are more than 300,000 cell stations now, 5G is expected to bring at least hundreds of thousands — if not millions — more.

The issue seems to be in who will have the final say on where the 5G will land. The argument for loosening regulations, which would allow the cellular companies to have more freedom, is that they would then be able to bring 5G to underserved areas that otherwise struggle to get the newest technology.

The argument against, however, is that more cellular equipment has a negative impact on property values, and fewer regulations mean there is a greater chance for mistakes and/or issues that will arise from hastily installing the 5G systems.

While no one knows for sure what will happen, it’s probably fair to say 5G technology is going to be here sooner rather than later. Where it will end up first and what kind of fight may surround its installation is anyone’s guess, but perhaps, as they say, progress always comes at a price.

Kim broke down everything you need to know about 5G. Listen to Kim’s latest Consumer Tech Update podcast below or by clicking here:

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