The talk of 5G has been doing the rounds for a few months now. Telecom operators and phone manufacturers have been trying to get in on the action. We’ve seen 5G variants of phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G being advertised at launch events.

Recently, EE, a UK telecom operator informed its users that they will be able to access the network’s 5G capabilities starting May 30. But what benefits does 5G offer? Here are some basic questions answered about 5G.

How much faster is it from 4G?

5G is slated to be at least 20 times faster than current 4G networks. This is due to reasons like current network congestion on 4G bandwidth as well as the higher frequency bands on which 5G operates, which is between 30GHz to 300GHz (higher frequency means faster speeds, increased data capacity).

Right now, the 4G network is congested. This is why, even when your phone shows you all 4 signal towers, your internet speed still sucks. Because there are just way too many devices on the same network. With 5G, however, the spectrum is empty as there are only a handful of devices even capable of supporting it. So, speeds are bound to get faster.

Not only this, but the latency of networks is also expected to go down massively. Latency (or ping) is the time that passes from the moment information is sent from a device until it can be used by the receiver. On 4G, the average latency was 20-30 milliseconds, which will be under 10 milliseconds on 5G.

Data speeds are expected to rise up. On 4G networks, speeds are capped at about 1GB per second. When we move to 5G, these speeds will be in excess of 20GB per second. Of course, the speeds depend on a number of factors like location, the device you have and whether you’re in motion or not. More likely, you’ll get 100MB per second of everyday speeds, whereas 4G currently only offers 10MB per second in everyday speeds.

When can I start using 5G?

Right now, none of the Indian telecom operators are looking to bid for 5G spectrums. So, the chances of it coming to India in 2019 look a bit slim. However, globally also, 5G rollout is slow and limited to a few regions. You can expect 5G to come to India in the next few years.

Will I be able to use 5G on my current phone?

No. Smartphones right now do not support 5G bands so you will not be able to take advantage of any 5G data plans or speeds on your current device. A 5G-enabled device (like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G) will be required to use the technology. While only a few manufacturers like Samsung, Oppo, and OnePlus have currently announced 5G variants, others are also working on 5G phones and will be looking to release their products as soon as 5G hits the ground running in different countries around the world.