The New Year is here, and one of the most exciting advancements in technology it will bring is the fifth generation mobile network, or 5G. Although the network is imminent, who will get to use it is still to be determined. For the first people getting a phone with 5G capabilities, they may not even get a signal. Still people will begin buying them, but who will get to? Which countries will have the infrastructure to support it? And what companies will be the first to provide it?

Who Will Have the Infrastructure to Support 5G?

5G is already available in the United States, though not many people are using it yet. Tech innovators like China and Japan have said that they will launch their network in 2019. South Korea will follow right behind them. Although China will have a 5G network before the United Kingdom, it is likely to be more widespread sooner in the UK. Britain may not have 5G until 2020, but more of their citizens will be able to afford it by then as the cost of phones goes down. The rest of Europe will be able to access a 5G network shortly after, but less developed countries will take much longer to get the technological infrastructure to support such a high frequency network.

According to a specialist from MoneyPug, a site often used in the UK to compare mobile phone contracts, 5G will be able to run from 1 to ten GB a second. This means you will be able to download full-length films in ten seconds, run multiple applications at once, and access the internet almost instantly. With such an advance, the countries who do not yet have the infrastructure to support 5G will be eager to upgrade their technology.

Companies Revealing 5G Phones

Though the big name mobile phone companies have already begun revealing their 5G phones, which ones will be the first to get it into the market is still not determined. OnePlus has announced their 5G phone called the OnePlus 7. They will launch the phone early this year, but it will be expensive. According to CEO Pete Lau, the OnePlus 7 will be around 200-300 dollars more than their last. Another company that has confirmed a 5G phone is Samsung. Although their new model is set to be revealed in February at the Mobile World Congress, the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will have 5G capabilities. Huawei has also announced their first 5G phone, the 30 Pro. It is expected to have a water drop notch design, four cameras, and an upgraded processor.

HTC, Lenovo, Motorola, LG, and Nokia are all set to premier their 5G phones in the coming year. While Chinese companies Xiaomi and Oppo have announced their 5G phones, the Mi Mix 3 and R15 respectively, Apple has remained tight-lipped about their 5G developments. In the usual Apple fashion, you can expect them to make a big announcement soon. They will likely be premiering their 5G-ready phone within the next year.

Benefits of 5G

Since not everyone will get to use the 5G network sometime soon, there will be people who miss out on the technological advancements and savings it will provide. The higher 5G frequencies will lead to big leaps in technology. For example, it will make virtual and augmented reality applications easier to run on small devices. 3-D imaging may become a reality, allowing doctors to better understand ailments and treat them and perform surgeries remotely. Automated cars will be able to quickly interact with your phone. Holograms may become a daily reality.

Furthermore, savings will occur due to the technological advancements. Smart fridges will save power and smart bins will make waste storage more efficient. More effective lighting technology will also save energy and therefore money. All of these technologies will be improved by a 5G network.

While 5G will bring wonder, advancements, and savings for many people, only the most elites will use the network and 5G phones right away. Only certain countries have the digital infrastructure to handle the network, and only certain companies selling phones in certain places will provide them. It is the reality of inequality, but progress will inevitably lead to the whole world using 5G. The future may seem like it is here now, but it may take a while for the rest of the world to catch up to the most developed societies.