The topic of 5G has been a hot one lately — and for good reason. Who doesn’t want lightning speed data?
But with the excitement also comes questions that you need answers to. After all, smartphones are the primary way most of us communicate, and this 5G rollout will change the way we use data, download apps and make calls.
That’s why we’re bringing you the inside info on how 5G works compared to today’s LTE networks — especially if you’re a T-Mobile customer who has access to America’s largest nationwide 5G network. Let’s take a look at the specifics of 5G and what it can do for you.
What is 5G and how does it work?
There’s a lot of technical jargon behind how 5G works, but the basic premise is this: 5G is a big technology leap forward from 4G LTE. It offers increased capacity, insanely fast speeds and super-low latency.
How? The 5G network allows large amounts of data to be transmitted much more efficiently than with 4G LTE. That means more reliable service, less lag and the ability to handle many more connections without buffering.
Remember how excited we got when 4G LTE rolled out about a decade ago? It changed the way we used cell phones by adding video and social media capabilities to our devices and launched new applications like ridesharing services. And, over time, 5G will do the same thing for our phones. It’s going to unlock a new class of applications and amazing things that we can’t even imagine yet.
Want a deeper look into how 5G can revolutionize our world? Listen to Kim’s podcast on what the next generation of tech might look like.
Is 5G safe?
In a word, yes. 5G is completely safe. In fact, it’s based on radio frequencies that have been used for decades. Low-band 5G uses UHF TV bands, which have been in use since 1952.
And mid-band frequencies have been in use at least since 2007. Parts of it were first used in 1963 — so it’s been around, at least in part, for decades now.
High-band, or millimeter-wave 5G, is a type of 5G spectrum being used primarily in the U.S. That’s the short-range type of 5G that requires a lot of small cell sites, so the infrastructure is more visible than it was before.
But even if it’s more visible, that type of 5G is safe, too. Studies of mmWave have shown it doesn’t penetrate human skin well — and that its strongest effect, at levels of power higher than any 5G network uses, is that it makes things slightly warmer.
At the levels 5G networks use, there’s no perceptible effect on people. That means the 5G your phone will be powered by is perfectly safe to use.
How will 5G improve my cell phone network?
It’s clear 5G will unleash a massive new round of innovation that’s far beyond what we’ve seen in wireless. In April, Sprint merged with T-Mobile and now T-Mobile is committed to building the world’s best 5G network to drive innovation and bring wireless access to people throughout the country.
Right now on average, T-Mobile customers with a 5G phone could see download speeds two times faster than the average current LTE speeds on its network.
So, if you’re a T-Mobile customer or are thinking of switching over to T-Mobile, you’ll get access to a massive 5G network with tons of capabilities. Even cooler? As T-Mobile continues to enhance its 5G network, you can expect that to get exponentially faster over time, just like when 4G was introduced.
How else will 5G change the way we communicate?
We’ve been talking about phones, but that’s not all 5G will impact. It will also create opportunities for innovation and sweeping change across other sectors, too.
The rollout of 5G will affect all kinds of industries: healthcare, manufacturing, technology, agriculture, transportation, hospitality and countless more. Over time, these improvements will unlock amazing innovations and transform the way we live, work and play.
Need some help picturing it? Let’s imagine you’re taking a road trip and see information about what’s around you and what’s up ahead displayed on your windshield. Sensors in smart highways sending real-time data to your car, warning of things like ice or accidents, intelligently routing traffic and updating road signs so you get where you want to go faster — and safer.
Road surface conditions. Traffic slowdowns. When to brake to safely stop. Wildlife crossings. Tire traction. You name it.
But this isn’t just for cars. It could be any moving vehicle — buses, tractor-trailers, motorcycles, trains, RVs — even boats. The incorporation of 5G into our world may open doors we didn’t know existed. How cool is that?
How do I get 5G … and how much will it cost me?
Well, you’re in luck. You don’t have to do much to get 5G if you’re a T-Mobile customer. All you need is a 5G capable device. That’s it! T-Mobile doesn’t require a special, more expensive plan for you to get access to 5G, nor will they charge you more to access the 5G network.
With T-Mobile, 5G access is included in every plan — at no extra cost.
If you’re not already a T-Mobile customer, good news: T-Mobile has the best plans around for people 55 and older and now is the perfect time to make the switch. You can get two lines for under $30 each. Find the plan that’s right for you at T-Mobile.com/55.
But will my phone work with 5G?
Many of T-Mobile’s devices tap into its nationwide 5G network, but if you’re using an older phone or device, you may have to upgrade to get access to 5G. You can still use your current phone on the LTE network, though, even if you don’t want to upgrade — it will continue to work, just as it has in the past.
The thing is, 5G isn’t replacing 4G any time soon. They will coexist and work together. That means 5G capable phones can actually use both 4G and 5G technology, so you don’t have to upgrade your older phone unless you want to.
How does T-Mobile have me covered?
Sprint and T-Mobile merged to make America’s largest 5G network faster and better than ever. You’ll get nationwide coverage you can rely on, no matter what network you’re on, even as 5G grows.
Looking to upgrade? T-Mobile offers the best wireless plans for Americans 55 and older at two lines for under $30 each plus taxes and fees with AutoPay. Find the unlimited plan that’s right for you at T-Mobile.com/55.
T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network covers more people and places than anyone else. The 5G network covers over 250 million Americans in more than 7,500 cities and towns across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. And while 5G grows, you can count on their 4G LTE network that connects 99% of Americans.
5G: Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. While 5G access won’t require a certain plan or feature, some uses/services might. See T-Mobile.com. Essentials Unlimited 55+: Limited time offer; subject to change. Postpaid only. Max 2 voice lines. Participating retail locations (and for existing customers, Care) only. Credit approval, deposit, $10 SIM card, and, in stores & on customer service calls, $20 assisted or upgrade support charge may be required. Monthly Regulatory Programs (RPF) & Telco Recovery Fee (TRF) totaling $3.18 per voice line ($0.60 for RPF & $2.58 for TRF) applies; taxes/fees approx. 10-33% of bill. AutoPay Pricing: Without AutoPay, $5 more/line. May not be reflected on 1st bill.